The Mirror of Erised (January 7, 2013)

…Opening To…

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2a)

…Listening In…

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

…Filling Up…

We begin the year 2013 of devotiONEighty with the first of seven Harry Potter weeks. I don’t know when the other six will be, but we’ll have one from time to time. This week, we will focus on the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (more properly known as the Philosopher’s Stone in its native Britain). We’ll look at quotations and themes and see how this excellent work of modern fiction can help us as we seek to follow Jesus Christ.

I assume my readership has read the Harry Potter books because most people have. If you haven’t, consider this week of devos a call to pick up the series. You won’t be sorry.

About two-thirds of the way through the first book, Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised. As “Erised” is a reflection of the word “Desire,” you won’t be surprised to know the mirror shows the viewer his or her deepest yearning. In it Harry sees his parents, who were killed when we was a baby. Harry goes back again and again and just stares into the mirror, longing to be with those whom he had lost.

Professor Dumbledore finds him and tells him the mirror will be moved to a new home. And then the headmaster speaks the line above: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” Dreams are wonderful things, of course. Dreams propel us to think of our lives in the big, wonderful way that God sees them, unbounded by what we think is possible. But Dumbledore has seen the other side of dreams. He has known people who have “wasted away before [the mirror], entranced by what they have seen.” These dreamers sunk into their dreams and forgot to live, as Dumbledore says.

How often do we forget to live? What keeps us from living the kind of lives that God desires us to live? What gets in the way? These are questions that the Mirror of Erised brings up. Another is this: what do you think you would see in the mirror? Is it the kind of dream that you think God yearns for you as much as you yearn for it?

…Praying For…

Dear God, your desires for me make up the deepest layer of my call as a human being. Help me to tune myself to your desires so I may always remember to dream your dreams and never forget to live. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, glad to know that, even though I am a muggle, you still weave your magic through my life.

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