The chapters I read last week left we wanting a little more excitement. Thankfully chapters 15-20 in The Order of the Phoenix provided that excitement. This section featured Quidditch, more political intrigue and the return of Hagrid. More than anything, though, these chapters had me hoping something bad eventually happens to Dolores Umbridge. I usually like the bad guys, but J.K. Rowling does a tremendous job of making her antagonists so vile that I can’t help but hate them.
Below are some (hopefully) more Christlike reflections on chapters 15-20 of The Order of the Phoenix.
Romans 13:1 says:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Apparently Harry and his friends never read that verse. In light of Umbridge’s refusal to teach anything worthwhile in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry, Ron and Hermione form the D.A.: Dumbledore’s Army. Dumbledore’s Army stands in direct defiance of the rules and regulations laid down by Professor Umbridge and the Ministry of Magic. I’m excited that Dumbledore’s Army exists, even though its existence contradicts Romans 13:1. We’re called to respect the authorities over us because God has placed them there. I’m thankful I don’t live in a country or a time that has ever forced me to choose between honoring God or honoring the authorities in my life. Even Dietrich Bonheoffer wrestled with opposing the Nazis and I’m not half the man Bonheoffer was.
I not only hope bad things happen to Dolores Umbridge but I hope Draco Malfoy gets his in The Deathly Hallows. There’s a part of me that hopes Malfoy finds redemption and ends up on the good side, but there’s a bigger part of me that hopes he meets a grisly end. (Dang it, this was supposed to be more Christlike). Malfoy didn’t help his case with me any by composing a song to taunt and harass Ron. I felt so bad for Ron during the Qudditch match and just wanted to encourage the crap out of him. I’m not normally a big encourager so I really must be engaging with J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world and its inhabitants. Ron really needed a Barnabas in his life, someone who would just encourage him all day long. We all need a Barnabas, someone who will encourage us, whether we’re having a good day or a bad day. The bigger challenge for some of us though, is being the Barnabas. Jesus seemed like a pretty encouraging guy so, if we want to be like him, I guess we know what we should do.
I enjoyed reading Hagrid’s description of his encounter with the giants, regardless of its success. One of the things that struck me was the giants’ inability to set aside their differences for the good of their kind. Unfortunately, as Christians, we struggle with the same thing. Great schisms have separated East from West, Protestant from Catholic and Mainline from Evangelical. Instead of focusing on the truths we hold in common, we’re too busy slinging stones over our differences. Christians need to stand together on documents like the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, recognizing the orthodox beliefs that bind us together. If we can’t cling to those foundational, common beliefs, we’ll be torn apart by our less important differences. We’re the Bride of Christ, not a bunch of giants; we should act as such.
I’ve really enjoyed The Order of the Phoenix so far. More than anything, the intrigue between the Ministry and Hogwarts has garnered most of my interest. I hope Umbridge meets a fate similar to previous Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers and that Dumbledore’s Army has a chance to show what they’re made of.
What thoughts do you have from chapters 15-20 of The Order of the Phoenix? (Please keep your thoughts spoiler-free).