Sunday, August 25 - A Modern Parable
As a whole, we Christians have forgotten who we are. We live in the Age of Forgetfulness.
We are not where we were meant to be. In The Lion King, if you remember, after the death of his father, Simba retreats to the jungle and finds Timon and Pumbaa, who introduce him to "Hakuna Matata." Hakuna Matata - it means no worries. They also introduce him to a diet of bugs and grubs. Can you imagine a lion eating bugs and grubs? It's funny to watch and to think about, but it really goes deeper than that.
If we take The Lion King to really be a modern day parable, we can compare ourselves to Simba.
We are living on a diet of bugs and grubs - we seek wealth, power, comfort. How many times have you heard the phrase, "When I retire, I'm going to _____"? From our teen years to our mid 60's, we live for our 9-5, our 401k - we are filling our barns with our wealth so that we will have security for our futures. No worries, right?
Through a series of unfortunate events, Simba ended up living in the jungle with Timon and Pumbaa. He was living the good life - doing what he wanted when he wanted. It took a crisis of identity to get him to see that he was not living as he should be. He was made for more than eating bugs and grubs. Simba's identity crisis was Nala looking for help. If you remember correctly, Nala left the Pridelands, came to the jungle, and found Simba. She reminded him that although his new home was lovely, that he had a responsibility to his home and to his pride. You can guess how this turned out. Nala was challenging his very being. Nala was challenging the lion Simba had become. An argument ensued and the two parted ways.
This is when we come to our video clip above. Rafiki, by way of water reminds Simba that his father lives in him. The spirit of Simba's father visits him in the clouds, as you see above.
Sometimes in our lives, we need that narrative rewrite. We slip off track. We lose who we are. We get stuck in our routines. And then we forget God. We can deny it all we want to by saying, "I haven't forgotten God - I go to church every Sunday, don't I?" But what if that is not enough? Church can become part of our routines. If we look at faith as a relationship, it is not good when our faith becomes simply routine.
We need confession in our lives. Confessing that we have gotten off track allows us to accept our Jesus Story. We need to come to the waters and remember our baptism. Remember that God lives in us. And in doing that, proclaim our Jesus Story. And finally, we need to be in communion with God and with other children of God, so that we can consistently remember our Jesus Story.
It is only then that we can have true faith - that we can truly be in relationship with God and others around us. It is only then that our faith goes from simply Sunday to every single day.
Remember who you are. You are God's child, and the one true heir to the kingdom. Go take your place.