Today, I would like to talk about the use of the word XMas in America during the holiday season. There are a great many sincere, well-meaning people who will tell you that the X is an attempt to cross Christ out of Christmas. I should know: I used to be one of them. But this is because I didn’t bother to take the time to educate myself. I wasn’t being a Berean. I have since come to learn that the aforementioned X is the Greek letter Chi, which just so happens to be the first letter of the title, Christ, in Greek. Thus it would seem that the use of “X” to denote Christ predates America by about 1700 years. No one is trying to cross Jesus out of Christmas–it’s simply a convenient contraction. “Merry XMas”=”Merry Christmas.” It is, in all seriousness, a “nontroversy.”
Much akin to the brouhaha surrounding XMas, is the Christian response, or lack thereof, to all things Harry Potter. And much as I was with “XMas,” I was at one time very opposed to all things Potter. Thought it was in fact demonic, not safe for Christian consumption. Well, not so much. Again, I had failed to apply due diligence and research the matter for myself. When I did, I discovered that Harry’s story fit squarely within the classical Christian tradition of English literature. From the learned scholar, John Granger, I learned that the series was rich with “Christian imagery, classical references, and ‘acerbic criticism of muggledom.’ Thus I promptly devoured the books. And was pleasantly surprised that Mr. Granger was indeed correct. You see, the series is a very cleverly constructed postmodern framework used to convey essential Biblical truth. In C.S. Lewis’s phrase, Rowling’s work goes a long way in getting these truths “past [the] watchful dragons” of our age. That, and it’s a corking good yarn.
All symbolism aside, here are a couple of plain facts about Harry Potter and series’ author, J.K. Rowling: the entire series is predicated on the premise of the saving power of sacrificial love (who does that remind you of?); and Ms. Rowling is herself a member of the Church of Scotland (telling us perhaps something about her worldview). But don’t just take my word for it–look into these things for yourself. Be a Berean. You’ll be glad you were.
Lest I forget: Merry XMas from Harry Potter!