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Showing posts from July, 2007

Much Ado about Harry

By the time you are reading this, the final installment of Harry Potter series is already out. Some of you have read it and already knew the much-awaited, much-speculated upon ending of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” According to USA Today, “more orders have been placed for this book than for any other in history… It is the largest pre-ordered book in history.” I suppose that means author J.K. Rowling will remain as the richest woman in Britain, the first ever to become a billionaire through writing.

Really, there’s much ado about Harry. Well, this is not an article on whether we should or should not allow our kids to read Harry Potter. My concern is what we can learn from this.

First, our kids can still enjoy reading. Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble said, “Harry Potter brings forth the idea that reading a book is perhaps the greatest form of entertainment of all.” In this world of X-box and massively multiplayer online role-playing games, that’s a breath of fresh air.

Not Getting What You Deserve

A mother once begged Napoleon to pardon her son. The emperor denied her request for the young man had committed a certain offense twice. Napoleon emphasized, “Justice demands death.”

“But I don't ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.”

“But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied.

“Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.”

Touched by the woman’s love for her son, Napoleon declared, “Then, I will have mercy.” And he spared the woman’s son from certain death.[1]

Justice is getting what you deserve. But mercy is not getting what you deserve. We are supposed to be punished for our sins. We deserve it. And God is just if he will do so. Yet, when we cried out for mercy, God gave it to us even if we really don’t deserve it.

Since we received mercy, we ought to give it also. William Mounce wrote, “Mercy is a requisite quality of those who belong to God… Since God is merciful, he in turn desires his followers to…