Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter
& The Philosopher's Stone
Nicole L. Rivera
Devotionals from the wizarding world
by Nicole L. Rivera
by Ken Kuhlken
An enterprise of
8697-C La Mesa Boulevard, PMB 21
La Mesa, California 91942
All references and page numbers quoted from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, are from the Digital Edition, published in 2012 by Pottermore Limited.
Citations from the Holy Bible are from the following versions:
(MSG) The Message, published by NavPress
(NIV ) The New International Version, published by Biblica
(NLT) The New Living Translation, published by Tyndale House Foundation
(GNT) The Good News Translation, published by American Bible Society
First of all, I would like to thank God, who in my darkest hour gave my life purpose and meaning. I do this for you.
Then, of course, my husband who has loved me, encouraged me, and sacrificed to make my dreams a reality.
I would like to thank you, the reader, for giving my writing a purpose beyond myself. Without readers we writers are merely people who scribble thoughts down on paper. You might even call us slightly mad.
And, to the first of those readers, my friend, teacher, and publisher Ken Kuhlken for believing in this book, coaching me through the writing, and giving me an opportunity to publish when no one else would. Thank you.
I would also like to thank my mom, who when my second grade teacher told me I was too far behind in spelling, grammar, and reading to pass, didn’t give up on me. You have always believed in and scarified for me, and if it weren’t for your endless hours of spelling drills I probably never would have written at all.
Dad, thanks for being there for me even when I rebelliously chose a career you did not agree with, and for loving me despite my (sometimes poor) choices.
To my friends and family. The ones who have pulled for me and supported me through the many years of my life. The ones who have seen me at my worst and still loved me. You give me hope. You give me joy. You are my Hermione and Ron.
Lastly, to Joanne Rowling. Thank you for living your dream.
Table of Contents
A Note on Parables
For Those Who Have Eyes to See
Muggle or Wizard
The Wrong Sort
Becoming a Friend
Firenze in the Forest
Death or Darkness
Neville's First Points
Proverbs of Dumbledore, Year 1
About the Author
Also by Hickey's Books
A Note on Parables
I originally entitled this book, The Parable of Harry Potter, because I believe the Harry Potter story is a parable of Christian values and of the Christ-story, whether intended by the author or not.
The Telegraph quoted J.K. Rowling in an American interview saying, “To me, the religious parallels have always been obvious, but I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people who just wanted the story where we were going.”
Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, in an interview with Christian Post said, “These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework—and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.” He advises parents, in reference to Harry Potter, to teach their kids to be discerning like Daniel, who read pagan literature but “didn’t defile himself.”
The author’s intentions aside, I believe God had a hand in directing this powerful story, for through stories he can reach the world with the love and message of his son, Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 13 (MSG), the disciples ask Jesus why he spoke in parables to the people instead of speaking the Truth plainly to them, and Jesus replied:
“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it.”
The world today has a hardened heart toward Christianity and the Good News of Christ. Many won’t so much as crack open a Bible. So how do we convey Christ’s message to this world? Just as Christ modeled for us: through stories that relate to the things that the world can understand. Many of us can comprehend the desire to be part of the world of Harry Potter, not to become a “wizard” but to belong to something special and unique and powerful. However, most of the world doesn’t realize that they can find that world in Christ, by becoming one of his followers.
I wrote this book as a once self-proclaimed atheist and fan of the series who is now a believing child of God. I'm convinced that God spoke to my heart, where I was ten years ago, through the parable of Harry Potter. This boy's story, riddled with godly values and insights, chipped away at the wall I had built around my heart and made me ready for the day when I walked into a church, invited by a co-worker who had challenged me to “prove God doesn’t exist.” I went seeking to refute every argument my friend could make, but I couldn’t. After just three visits, I walked to the front with my co-worker by my side and, trembling, welcomed God into my heart.
I know what it is like to be on the other side of the believers’ fence. I know how I thought. I know how I felt. And, now, I’m here to share the insights God has put on my heart in hopes that they will be tools for all who read this book to reach the unreachable. To reach the me’s of this world.
Question: Who do you know that is a long way from God? Who do you know that is so far away from God you fear they will never find him? Maybe you have a list of loved ones you are praying for daily, or maybe you are the one being prayed for daily.
Challenge: If you are the one praying for others, use stories to reach those you feel are unreachable. Show them God in a way they can understand him. Show them love.
If you are the one searching for God’s love, read this book, and read or reread the Harry Potter story with eyes wide open searching for him. Choose to have open eyes and an open mind and to seek, and you will find.
Verse: “That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight.” – Matthew 13:13 (MSG)
Prayer: Lord, please open my eyes and unclog my ears. Please show me you and your ways in the parable of Harry Potter. Please give me insight and understanding so that I may grow toward you. Help me to understand this story and your insights in it, so that I may use stories, and the Harry Potter story in particular, to reach the unreachable. I love you, Lord. Amen.
Many blessing and much love,
back to top
For Those Who Have Eyes to See
“Don’t be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 4)
Vernon Dursley had just bumped into a jubilant wizard wearing long, purple robes. Not only was Dursley not jubilant, though clutching a donut bag in his hand, he was repulsed and frightened. He had been seeing strange things all day and hearing a strange yet familiar name: Harry Potter.
His worst fears were confirmed upon arriving home to his wife, Petunia Dursley, and asking her what her sister’s son’s name was: “Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me,” she said.
The Dursleys are unable to appreciate the joy of “The Boy Who Lived” because they are purposefully blind to the world around them. They have chosen to ignore the truth: that they live in a world where wizards, giants, and flying broomsticks are real.
In the same way, we live in a world of both the physical and the spiritual. The physical world, like the Muggle world J.K Rowling portrays, is made up of things we can see, touch, feel, smell, taste, the things we can wrap reason and logic around. The spiritual world,