Lessons from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

We have reached the seventh and last book in the series. It is probably the most powerful book in the whole series. It is the book where Rowlings hidden faith and believes come out into the open. The lessons that we can learn from this book are three very simple things. We learn to beware of whom and what we place our trust in, the power of love that conquers all and that we don’t go through this life alone.

Beware of Whom and What You Place Your Trust In

The two antagonists in the series Harry and Voldemort give us a prime example of this lesson. Harry choose to place his faith and trust in things that would last forever. He choose to save his soul rather than forfeit it for the sake of gaining the whole world. Harry choose to not pursue the Deathly Hallows, even though he thought they would help him in his mission to defeat Voldemort. Harry instead choose not to attempt to conquer death, but to place his trust in the reasoning of his mentor Dumbledore, who choose not to leave Harry the last of the Hallows (the Elder Wand), Harry already had the other two (the resurrection stone and the invisibility cloak).

Whereas Harry choose to not pursue the ability to conquer death, Voldemort choose to pursue the ability to conquer death. Why? Because Voldemort feared death. Why? Because Voldemort believed that if he died he ceased to exist. He felt that the best way for him to live forever was to divide his soul up and place the pieces in objects, that had special meaning to him. However, what Voldemort failed to realize is that these objects could be destroyed, which meant that the parts of his soul that he had placed in them could also be destroyed.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:19-24 NIV

Jesus understand the power and pull of material things and the desire to have them. That is the biggest difference between Harry and Voldemort. They both were tempted by the things of this world. However, only one of the fell for the temptation. Only one of them placed his trust in the things that will not be destroyed. The other decided to forfeit his very soul for the riches of this world and all the things that they bring with them.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Matthew 16:26 NIV

The Power of Love that Conquers All

Love keeps coming up throughout the series and it is one of the most important lessons that you can learn in this last book. We see at the very beginning of the book when the Order of Phoenix comes to escort Harry to safety. The people who volunteered to be Harry’s doppelgängers are Ron, Hermione, Fred, George and Fluer. Ron, Hermione, Fred and George are easy to understand. Ron and Hermione are Harry’s best friends and they had already committed to go with him on his quest to destroy the Horcruxs that Voldemort created. Fred and George had always been there for Harry and acted as big brothers throughout the series. Fluer, however, is all little harder to understand. Until you remember that Harry saved her younger sister during the second challenge of the Tri-Wizards Tournament. This was a supreme act of love that was repaid when Fluer willing put her life on the line to ensure Harry’s safety.

Later in the book we see the power of love displayed by Ginny, Neville and Luna. The three of them continued the resistance against the forces of evil taking over Hogwarts and the world in spite of the danger that it posed to the lives. Luna had even painted a picture of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and herself being connected by the word friends repeated over and over again. True friends love each other and I don’t mean the touchy feely kind of love. I mean love that shows a whole hearted devotion to one other. The willingness to put the needs of others over your needs.

This kind of love is shown by a character that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Doby showed this kind of love over and over again. Doby loved so much that he was willing to not only risk his own life to save Harry and the others held captive in Malfoy Manor, but he was also willing to die to save them. Harry and those saved by Doby showed him the greatest respect that can be paid. Harry and his friends honored Doby’s love by burins him with honor and love.

Lastly, Harry shows that love conquers all by willing going to his death (spoiler alert he doesn’t really die). As Harry is walking towards the Forbidden Forest to face his death at the hands of Voldemort he passes the bodies of friends and those whom he loves, who have died a battle to defeat evil. Harry is deeply moved by their sacrifice and even though he does not want to face death, he knows that he must so that no more of his friends and loved ones will die.

Jesus said that there was no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends. Paul, said that without love you are nothing. Harry had love. Harry had known love all his life. His mother and father loved him enough that they were willing to die for him. His aunt and uncle cared enough for him to take him in, even though they did not want to take him in. Voldemort did not have love. He did not want to know love. He choose to live a life without love. That is how Harry and his friends were able to beat Voldemort and his Death Eaters. They loved. They loved each other, they loved others as themselves, but more importantly they loved good over evil and sought to do good no matter the cost.

“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
“This is what I command you: Love one another.

John 15:12-17 CSB

If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 CSB

You Don’t Go Through Life Alone

As you read the books is this series, you will see that Harry has a tendency to do things alone. However, as he begins his final journey in this saga he finally realizes that he needs the support and love of Ron and Hermione. Without Ron and Hermione by his side he would never have been able to destroy the pieces of Voldemort’s soul. He would not have survived as long as he did. Harry, also, had friends that choose to remain at Hogwarts. While Harry, Ron and Hermione were out hunting Horcuxes Ginny, Neville and Luna were still at Hogwarts continuing the struggle against the forces of evil. It was Neville who continued to fight and resist even after Ginny had to go into hiding and Luna was kidnapped to prevent her father from continuing to write the truth in his magazine. It was Neville who provided the core of the army of students who stood and fought in order to buy Harry time to complete his mission. None of this would have been possible if Harry had walked through life alone.

Lastly, Harry believed at first that he would never see his loved ones again. However, once he found out about the resurrection stone he started to change his mind. As he is walking towards his near fatal encounter with Voldemort he holds the golden snitch that Dumbledore left him up to his mouth and says “I am about to die” and then kisses it. After this a most remarkable thing happens after this. Harry sees Sirius, Lupin and his parents. These people who have been so instrumental to Harry throughout his life provide with comfort and support in this his most difficult time of his life.

Just as Harry and his friends were never meant to walk through life alone, you are not meant to walk through life alone. Jesus provided comfort to his disciples before he dead by saying that he was going to send an advocate to be there for them. This promise still holds true for you today. If you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus then the Holy Spirit lives with you and acts as your helper and advocate. This fulfills the promise that Jesus made as he ascended into heaven. That he would never leave us or forsake us.

Lastly, the writer of Hebrews gives us a list of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. He then begins the very next chapter (12) by saying that since we have such a great cloud of witnesses around us. Doesn’t this sound like what happened to Harry as walked to meet Voldemort and doesn’t it sound like Harry’s various friends who were always there to provide him comfort and support. You too are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Some of them may have already departed this life and some of them may still be living here on earth. It doesn’t matter which one they are. What matters is that they are the ones that will provided the comfort and support you need to walk through this life. They are the circle of friends that you have. They are the mighty oak trees that provide you with shelter so that you can grow, put down deep roots and become mighty oak trees to others as they walk through this life.

But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going? ’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:5-7 CSB

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:20 CSB

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB

To conclude this series I’m going to tell the story of two people who walked similar paths in life, but one choose redeem himself and the other choose not to. The two people are Percy Weasley and Voldemort. Percy like Voldemort choose to ignore and forget everything that he had been taught and shown in a pursuit of power, fame and fortune. However, unlike Voldemort Percy eventual saw the error of his ways and came back and begged forgiveness from his family. Not only did Percy ask for forgiveness he stood and fought with his family and friends against the very powers that he once supported.

Jesus tells us a similar story in the book of Luke. He tell us the story of a son who wants his inheritance now. He even goes so far to ask his father for his inheritance now. He then leaves the family home and goes to a foreign land where he sanders his wealth. He is then forced to take a job feeding pigs. Not only is he forced to feed the pigs he is forced to eat the same slop that the pigs eat. He finally realizes that servants in his father’s house are treated better than this. So he decides to return to his father and beg him to take him back as a servant. However, the father sees his son coming from a far and runs and out greets him not in anger but in love.

What is the point of this story. The point is this: God loves you and does not want you perish. He loves you so much that he sent his son to die for you. Like the father in Jesus’ story God is looking for turn back to him and he is waiting for you with open arms.

Like Percy the son in Jesus’ story came back looking for redemption. If you think that you are beyond God’s love. I hope that this story gives you hope. I hope that you take the lessons of Harry Potter to heart.

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