Posted: 7/29/19 at 12:15pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; (II Corinthians 5:18 NIV)
Just a week ago, I had a chance to see the new Lion King movie. It reminded me of lessons that I learned from the original movie, so I’ve decided it is time to share those. What are some of the lessons we can learn and share in Sunday School and Small Groups? Here are some ideas:
- We are a part of the Circle of Life. Mufasa shows Simba all of the kingdom from Pride rock and lets him know that one day he will rule over it all. Simba takes on a superiority complex in knowing it is all his. Mufasa reminds him that ruling to rule is to be a good steward (my paraphrase) and to continue the circle of life. Everything should be protected and allow the circle of life to continue. It is about responsibility to care. What does that mean for us?
- Teach responsibility as we care for people throughout our world. We need teachers who remind people that there are parts of our world that need our help with food, clean water, shelter, and God’s love.
- Teach responsibility for God’s creation. We are in a time when human beings are destroying God’s creation for money. We need to speak out about industries that allow pollution to affect the ozone, and we need to recycle. (Email me about recycling that will help the environment and provide income for your church to help others at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- We are all tempted beyond our boundaries. Scar tempted Simba to go beyond their territory to the elephant graveyard. Mufasa had warned Simba not to go there. This reminds me of the Adam and Eve story in the Garden of Eden! What do we do?
- Help people be honest about their vulnerability. We ALL have weaknesses! Do your people have someone to hear their weaknesses without judgment? Is your class/small group confidential and willing to embrace our vulnerability? This is essential! As you do, be prepared to get your pastor and others involved (with the person’s permission) to help.
- Hakuna Matata…no worries leads to worries! Simba left his family over guilt and found friends who told him to live for the moment and not worry. He was free to do what he wanted. Does this sound like the Prodigal Son story? We have people running from their past. They are trying to just enjoy the moment. How do we help them?
- Help them to see their past. For some, this may take a therapist. Be ready to ask them about counseling. Have a referral ready to give to them. They may need some time to deal with their pain from the past. Love them. Don’t judge them. Eventually they will come to their senses through prayer and love.
- Help them to see their present and future. Help them to see hope and what could be.
- Remember who you are! Many of us need to be reminded daily. Simba needed Rafiki to remind him. Rafiki showed him a vision of his dad, Mufasa. Mufasa reminded him: “Remember who you are.” In that moment, Simba remembered that he was king, and took on his responsibility with Nala helping him. So how do we help people remember?
- You are a child of God. God created you for great things. You are a child of God!
- You are loved! God loves you far beyond what anyone else can do. God loves you without expecting anything in return. God gave Jesus as a reminder who taught us how to love and who died for us.
- God is proud to be your heavenly Father! If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on there. James Moore shared that from a book many years ago, and it still resonates. Perhaps this passage can sum it up through our relationship in Christ:
And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11 NIV)
As we remember who we are, we understand that our identity is found in our relationship with God to be co-creators and ambassadors for Christ. I am thankful for the reminder as I watched The Lion King.
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