Have just been emailed by someone asking me to stop mentioning H**** P****r as they've not finished the book yet. Apologies to people who's enjoyment my blog has ruined, can I ruin it some more? MORE SPOILERS FOLLOW, BEWARE!
Interesting to see that the Harry/Jesus/Aslan connection has been picked up in the discussion threads at Leaky Cauldron and the other main HP fan sites. Some of the tone seems to be 'couldn't Rowling think of a better way to wrap things up?', and maybe the fact one of the most creative and original storytellers of her generation falls back on the death/resurrection motif says that really, you can't top the old old story.
Another theme which has been buzzing around for me in the last day or two, of the absent saviour. For most of the book Harry is pursuing his own quest to destroy Voldemort in secret, hiding away for fear of discovery and capture. His absence creates space for others to step into leadership and to grow into their potential. One small group starts up a pirate radio station, another trio takes on the leadership of the resistance at Hogwarts. We see a significant stage in the growth of one character (Neville), who in book 1 is portrayed as a wimpy weakling, into someone who is strong, courageous, and a leader of others. He's got there through the encouragement of friends (Harry and co), and his own hard work at overcoming his weaknesses, as well as discovering what he is good at. By the end of the book, he is a professor at the school.
Lots of links there to how the disciples are challenged to keep faith with Jesus even when he wanders off, or does things they don't understand, and how God's people as a whole before, and after Jesus, face the challenge of keeping faith with a saviour who we don't see, but have to trust. We carry on doing his work, in the hope that he will return and complete the job. In the meantime, the very absence of the saviour creates space for God's people to grow into their full potential. 'You will bear much fruit, because I am going to the Father'.