Worth Dying For?

“This is how it is – this is why you’re not in the Order – you don’t understand – there are things worth dying for!”

In the fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, Harry’s best friend’s dad is attacked. The man’s children want to go to the hospital where his life hangs in the balance. But they are not allowed because it will compromise the activities of the Order of the Phoenix. Although they had all complained about not being allowed to join, they are not willing to delay visiting their father for the sake of the cause. This prompts the above response from Harry’s godfather.

In the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling raises questions about what is worth dying for. The story has a number of character’s who die for the sake of others, and a number of explicit discussions about whether it is worth being willing to die for a cause. The Order of the Phoenix is a particularly confronting example because the death in question does not achieve anything directly, and because, to put it bluntly, the person stays dead.

Generally for most of us, we can see no direct benefit to us dying. The idea of dying for the sake of our loved ones seems a very distant and vague hypothetical. And yet all around we see the evidence that people are not willing to give up comfort, security, money, or pleasure for the sake of others.

Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow him. We need to find something worth dying for, because then we will have something worth living for!

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