I read the latest Harry Potter in the week (as well as the previous one so I could pick up the thread) - I'm not exactly sure where I got the time, but somehow I did it. I really admire JK Rowling's insight into the way people work. I could say so much, but what I think brings her basic good against evil plot well into the 21st century are two things.
The one is her portrayal of Harry as vulnerable. He is no super hero, but has fears, feelings and anger. He makes things up as he goes along and strikes when he sees the gap.
The other thing is her total acceptance of grey areas. Harry's father is naturally important to Harry, but he is not therefore portrayed as perfect. He had his failings. Dumbledore's failings are key to the plot. So with Snape and others. And that is true to life. Except for Jesus, even the best of us have weaknesses and sin in our lives. Even the worst have some element of potential and hope.
Ultimately we can be encouraged that no matter who we are or what we have done we can make some sort of contribution to making the world a better place.
That people buy in to that message so enthusiastically suggests that it comes from some fundamental truth in the universe. Or is it their wishful thinking? Escapism?
It is the message that Jesus brought. We can all make a difference. But for so many that seems as far out of reach as magic does. I think that is what I want to do. To tell people that it is not out of reach. To tell them to hold on to hope. To encourage them to count the cost - either way.