This past Friday evening we had 18 young adults gather on the patio upstairs to kick off the Fall season with food and fellowship. The patio above the parish hall offers a Romanesque vibe with the strings of globe lights twinkling overhead to illuminate the side facade of the church. If you didn't know you were in Los Angeles, you'd think you were in Rome!
One of the many riveting topics of conversation from the gathering had to do with the story of Harry Potter and the exact source of evil found therein. Is it Tom Riddle? Is it the dark arts? Is it the embodiment of the dark arts in Voldemort? The origin of evil in Harry Potter is a fascinating question to consider, but it is clear in the story that no matter what the exact source of evil, it is made manifest, at least in part, through the work of Voldemort, the death eaters, and of course the horrifying dementors.
Even if all of this Harry Potter lingo is foreign to you, the question of evil in the world undoubtedly is not. The famous creation myth from Genesis 3 speaks of a serpent who was "more crafty than any other wild animal" and ultimately coerces Eve to eat from the very tree from which God had forbidden both her and Adam to eat. So on one level, we have the origin of evil in the Garden of Eden, that is, from the beginning of human life on earth. But what before that? Just as the answer to the question of the origin of evil in Harry Potter isn't black and white, neither is it for us as Christians either. But that doesn't mean we can't see the manifestation of evil all around us. We see it on the news everyday. But is it more insidious than that? Are there "death eaters" among us? That is, are there evil forces at work in the world that are right in front of our faces that we do not, or perhaps cannot, even recognize? How do we live in such a way that makes us "wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Mt. 10:16) in light of that? This is the topic we will take up at the next FlipSide young adult gathering. Be on the lookout for more information to come soon!