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You don’t need a magic wand, “just” a divine bond with “Eternal Mind, THE Potter!” (CS Hymnal #51:1)

Harry Potter books on tape were a gift to help keep me awake on long drives. I had to watch out not to get lulled to sleep to believe in the reality, presence and powers of evil that are both created by and fought by the supposed wonders of wizardry. By staying alert to reverse the lies of witchcraft, even these errors, by reversal, can “serve as waymarks to the one Mind.” (Science and Health, 267:24) When taking a toy or gift away from a child, it’s always good to have a better one to replace it. Here’s an attempt to explain and reverse some of the erroneous premises of Harry Potter and to give our youth (and their elders) a better gift and hero to emulate. Pop-fiction hero Harry Potter isn’t told about his true identity until his 11th birthday when he learns that he’s not a muggle or mortal, but a wizard. (Deuteronomy 18:10-11) Like Harry, each of us should daily stop identifying with a muddled mortal selfhood. Unlike Harry, we should also stop identifying with a cult of wizardry that is being subtily sold so successfully these days. Both are fake i.d.s which would keep us from bonding with our true identity and acting up to our highest thoughts and deeds. When we truly understand and believe that we are spiritual beings, eternally at one with God, and therefore always having all we need from the inside out, (Matt. 6:32-33) our approach to virtually everything changes. We become “new creatures . . . in Christ.” Then, ZAP! Better than any wizard’s magic, “behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

Instead of using a magic wand, Christ Jesus and his followers brandish their divine bond (John 10:30) of oneness with God to provide the newness of practical, spiritual solutions to every challenge known to man. (Phil. 4:13) As entertaining as Harry Potter’s fictional feats of wizardry are, they don’t compare to all the real life wonders performed by Jesus in “the greatest story ever told.” Give some thought to Christ Jesus’ amazing accomplishments and their promise for today’s students of his scientific methods. Watch for the guiding stars, awesome angel messages and glorious gifts that still accompany Christ’s coming, not just at Christmas, but whenever and wherever it finds a welcoming manger thought. Cherish how God uses the love and wisdom of Joseph and Mary (and of our human parents) to hide and protect the maturing Christ child. (Matt. 2:13-23) Appreciate the spiritual maturity of Jesus at age twelve, wowing the Pharisee Professors at the Temple instead of being intimidated by them. (Luke 2:41-52)

Consider how Jesus wins his showdown with the ultimate dark-side opponent, Satan, after forty days of prayer-based dieting (fasting) in the wilderness. (Matt 4:1-11) His method clearly shows the benefits of scriptural study and of the 20-year training program available at Christian Science Sunday Schools. Jesus demonstrates that an ability to readily recall and quote applicable Bible verses defeats all temptations that would make us doubt or abuse our bond with God. Thanks, not to a wizard transfiguration class, but to wholehearted acceptance of God’s beneficent allness, Jesus turns things into thoughts, (Science & Health 123:12) especially when there’s a human need. At a marriage feast he turns water into wine (John 2:1-11) and twice feeds thousands by multiplying a few loaves and fishes. (Mark 8:19-20) Later, he himself is transfigured by a heavenly glow as he converses with Moses and Elijah, time-transcending prophets who ascended centuries earlier and yet returned to help prepare Jesus for his upcoming crucifixion and ascension. (Matt. 7:1-13) Without a special effects crew, Jesus does some special traveling himself when he walks on the water and even helps muggle-minded Peter to do so. (Matt. 14:24-32) And, without using a drop of material fuel, Jesus takes a wooden boatload of disciples (more than a quidditch team) at the speed of thought across the Sea of Galilee. (John 6:21)

Without an invisibility cloak, Jesus walks through an angry mob that wants to kill him. (Luke 4:28-30) Without an owl, Christ Jesus can instantly be in touch with those at great distances, and even revive them from dying. (Luke 7:2-10; John 4:46-54) Without visiting a special bank vault, using GPS or fish-finding sonar, Jesus pays his own taxes (and Peter’s) with money he prophesied to be in the mouth of a fish caught by Peter’s first cast. (Matthew 17:24-27) More than once Christ Jesus also summons fish at His command to fill the nets of fishermen and so convince them to follow him. (Luke 5:1-11, John 21:4-6) Without divination classes, Jesus predicts future events and describes past ones. (Mark 11:13-21, Mark 14:13-16, Matthew 21:2, John 4:1-42) Furthermore, Jesus is able to read the minds of those around him (Matthew 12:25, Luke 6:8) and cast out demonic spirits (Luke 8:26-34) without using the sorcery of Beelzebub. (Luke 11:15-19) He can even control the weather and still a storm. (Luke 8:22-25)

Jesus walks through walls and instantly appears and disappears. (John 20:19-26, Luke 24:13-31) Without using potions, tears of a mythical phoenix bird or drugs of any kind, Christ Jesus quickly heals those who from birth are blind, deaf, dumb and lame, as well as the leprous, deformed, epileptic, chronically hemorrhaging and sick of every kind of disease. Without spells or necromancy, Jesus several times raises the dead (Luke 7:11-15, Luke 8:52-55) and at Lazarus’ tomb purposefully conveys to disciples in every age His gratitude-in-advance technique. (John 11:1-44) Jesus even fulfills ancient prophecies by letting himself be crucified to prove that death is nothing but an illusion that possesses only the reality and power we give it.

Without a crystal ball, Jesus forecasts the great news that we will not only do the amazing works he does, but also do greater works (John 14:12) when taught by the Comforter, or “the Spirit of truth,” which will surely bring all things to our remembrance and teach us all truth. (John 15:26; John 16:7-14; John 21:26) Christian Science Sunday Schools with branches throughout the world (and CS camps) are therefore better educational options than Harry’s Hogwart’s School of Wizardry. Christian Science Sunday Schools are untainted by the idolatrous belief in the reality of a power or powers apart from God, a mixed belief that is denounced by Jesus and his followers. (Matthew 12:25-26, 33; Science and Health 228:25, Deut. 18:10-11) In any situation whether at school, in a game, or at war, we would be foolish to not fully use all the resources at our disposal. Therefore, the questions are:

Are we learning all we can from the daily lessons and weekly Sunday School classes at our disposal?
Are we taking full advantage of the omnipotent wand of the divine bond that we’ve been given?

Here are four universal truths that are winningly illustrated in the Harry Potter books that are in no way part of what Mrs. Eddy calls the “Witchcraft and Esoteric Magic (that should) be publicly executed.” (S&H 441:20) When properly seen, redeemed and utilized as precepts of “our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christainity and its lost element of healing,” (Church Manual 17:12) each of these principles contains great healing and protecting power.

1. Great sacrifices of unselfed love made for and by us put us out of range. By Jesus giving his all for us, we inherited an awesome protecting shield, (John 3:16-17) the impenetrable cladding of “the panoply of Love” in which “human hatred cannot reach” (Science and Health 57116-19) us. I have seen this proved many times daily at my workplace, which is characterized by abundant unselfishness and “such a sacrifice as makes us admit its Principle to be Love.” (S&H 26:21) I know no better way to learn how to practice unselfed Love and “that Mind . . . which was also in of Christ Jesus” (S&H 597:24) than in such a setting. But wherever we are, opportunities come hourly to share the unselfed love and Christliness that are the basis of all happiness, protection and healing. Remembering our Love Savior’s style of unselfish sacrifice and service and imitating it will continually bless, protect and save us and others. (see S&H 37:17)

2. Handle fear by picturing it as laughable, and an illusion. (CS Hymn #71:1; S& H 681:23-6) (“Ridiculousa,” Potter Book #2) Here Christian Science leads the way among religions and philosophies by being the lone voice to consistently point out the utter unreality and nothingness (S&H 562:4-18) of any supposed power apart from God. Recently I was able to quickly laugh at ridiculous fears that challenged my thought by seeing them as illusions after taking a nasty spill from my “Nimbus 2000” bike when its chain jammed on a steep hill in the park. I was 2 miles from any help, “up against the wall” so to speak, with no magic wand except the memorized “WALL treatment” given by Mrs. Eddy in her textbook. (See the bold letters starting 4 sentences.)
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow you calm sense and clear trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.” (S&H 562:4-18)
Confidently obeying these directives allowed a bum ankle to again be instantly perfect, a complete healing “which appeared miraculous.” (S&H 138:9)

3. True faithfulness, not only to God and to ourselves, but also to our friends, includes the courage to stand for right even though it may not be the popular thing to do. Such a stand, though it “risk(s) human displeasure for the sake of doing right,” (S&H 570:30-19) will ultimately be rewarded and win points that make all the difference to appreciative and respectful friends. Mrs. Eddy counsels: “When error confronts you, withhold not the rebuke or the explanation that destroys error.” (S&H 452:11)
Hopefully, my rebuke and explanation of some of the false premises behind the Harry Potter cult obsession will alert friends to the dangins lurking in its blind acceptance. By jumping aboard the runaway train of Potter Mania (instead of right in front of it) my hope is to appropriately redirect its enthusiasm onto the upward track of accomplishments guided by the greatest teacher and his scientific methods.

4. As “seekers” in every situation we need to get a high, God’s-eye view from which to watch for the one golden nugget that will win the whole contest for us. (see Matt. 6:33, Deut. 28:1-7) When we discipline ourselves to start every day, and even every activity, by quietly and consistently seeking at least one precious gem of truth to grasp and make our own, we are guaranteed victory and blessings in whatever we do. Today, my golden nugget goal is to watch for and magnify every smallest shred (snitch) of good in each of the people and situations I see, including everything bordering on Harry Potter obsessions, which I hope can be reversed to “serve as waymarks to the one Mind” (S&H 267:24) and to our wayshower and true hero, Christ Jesus.

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