“…Your father and mother seem to totally free from all those ambitious feelings which have led to so much misconduct and misery, both in young and old….” ~ Anne Elliot, Persuasion by Jane Austen
As I typed this line, which discusses the Musgroves allowing their daughters to marry for love and good character rather than title or fortune, I really had no idea where I was going with this post, and then it struck me…
“So that’s little Scorpius,” said Ron under his breath. “Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother’s brains.”
“Ron, for heaven’s sake,” said Hermione, half stern, half amused. “Don’t try to turn them against each other before they’ve started school!”
“You’re right, sorry,” said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, “Don’t get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood.” ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
The Musgroves and the Weasleys are each in positions of status by blood or fortune that traditionally set certain standards for their children’s future spouses—but both families take an unorthodox approach. Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove both marry men of good character for affection and not fortune or title—with their parents support and enthusiasm for their happiness. The Weasleys take a similar approach. Bill marries a quarter-Veela. George marries Angelina (not sure of her blood status). Ron marries Hermione, Muggle-born. And Ginny marries Harry, whose mother was Muggle-born, and who vehemently opposes the pure-bloodist agenda and annihilated Voldemort. Not exactly the pride and joy of the traditional pureblood family.
So, what does any of this have to do with the Bible or with Christian faith?
Jesus, the Son of God, chose a man named Simon upon which to entrust the future of his mission. Simon was not a religious man or scholar. He wasn’t an elder in the synagog. He was a man who earned his living by fishing. Seems random, right? You would think, to found the Church, you would need someone who has some biblical training. Some priestly blood or status. No, Jesus goes for a common man.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:13-19, ESV
Blood, training, and title have noting to do with who God chooses to use. It is our willingness of heart, the stuff inside of us, that God goes by. On the outside, the world didn’t see much in Peter—not in the religious sense. But God saw something in Peter, a tiny mustard seed in his heart, that would blossom into something enormous and great. Yes, Peter would go on to deny Christ three times. But, after he experiences the remorse of his actions, Peter sets on a steady course to carry out Christ’s mission on earth, even giving his life rather than to turn back.
Don’t choose your friends or future spouse based on the outside stuff; choose based on the inside stuff. We’re bigger on the inside than we are on the outside.