In honor of the fact that the final installment of the Harry Potter movies opens at midnight tonight I'd like to try to answer a theological question:
Which Hogwarts house would Jesus be in?
Slytherin? Gryffindor? Hufflepuff? Ravenclaw?
As all the cool people know (Muggles and conservative evangelicals will have to catch up), the Hogwarts students are sorted into their houses by the Sorting Hat based upon the personality match between the student and the House.
Gryffindor values courage and bravery. Slytherin values ambition, cunning, and pure blood status. Ravenclaw values intelligence and learning. And Hufflepuff values...
Well, what does Hufflepuff value?
According to the song the Sorting Hat sings in The Order of the Phoenix (H/T to Andrea for helping me find this), the first three founders of Hogwarts were looking for very particular students. Here's the relevant part of the song:
Sorting Hat Song--Order of the PhoenixAs observed, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw pick very particular students. So who does Helga Hufflepuff pick? The song continues:
In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The Founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
united by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning
To make the world's best magic school
And pass along their learning.
"Together we will build and teach!"
The Four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might someday be divided,
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.
Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest."
Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest."
Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name"
Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot,Hufflepuff takes the leftovers. The kids who don't fit into the other houses. This impression is strengthened as the song continues:
And treat them just the same."
These differences caused little strifeThat's that theological point I'd like to hit on: "She took the rest." Hufflepuff took the misfits, castoffs and rejects. This isn't to say that Jesus lacked courage, intelligence, or cunning ("Be as shrewd as serpents!"). Just that, theologically speaking, I think Jesus' life and ministry identifies him more as a Hufflepuff, the willingness to hang out with and embrace the misfits, rejects, and castoffs.
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor,
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew...
So that's what I think: Jesus would be in Hufflepuff House.
So be sure to wear your black and yellow house colors tonight!