The strangest thing happened to me just the other day. In the middle of a hard day I was just chilling in my room listening to old school Disney movie soundtracks. Random I know, but it’s pretty fun to do. It was while listening to the music from the underrated but fantastic Lion King 2 that I got hit with some gospel truths.
Since the start of the new year God has been making it incredibly clear that I can’t live the Christian life outside of a strong prayer life and strong community in which to find courage and strength. These two truths have come at me from countless different directions. I’ve been reminded of them through my time in the Word, through the encouragement of a friend, through the quiet thoughts before sleep each night. And surprisingly enough, I found the encouragement and reminder to pursue Biblical community through a song out of Lion King 2.
Before you exit out of the blog, just bear with me. This all might make sense in the end.
Here’s the gist of the scenario. Two lions in play here. Simba & Kiara. Kiara is struggling to find her purpose for her life. She doesn’t know where she fits in with the rest of the pride. Her father Simba comes along and sings to her this short song about the community that is the pride they’re in, and I truly believe that it speaks volumes about how the church functions. Here’s the full song:
As you go through life you'll see There is so much that we Don't understand And the only thing we know Is things don't always go The way we planned But you'll see every day That we'll never turn away When it seems all your dreams come undone We will stand by your side Filled with hope and filled with pride We are more than we are We are one Kiara: If there's so much I must be Can I still just be me The way I am? Kiara: Can I trust in my own heart Or am I just one part Of some big plan? Even those who are gone Are with us as we go on Your journey has only begun Tears of pain, tears of joy One thing nothing can destroy Is our pride, deep inside We are one We are one, you and I We are like the earth and sky One family under the sun All the wisdom to lead All the courage that you need You will find when you see We are one
There’s so much here that has implications on the church body although that’s obviously not the intended purpose of this song.
Simba encourages Kiara that although things might not go as she would like or she had planned, she would have a community that would never turn away from her in those hardships and failures. The encouragement that he gave to her was that they would all stand by her side in hope and pride, they as a pride are more than just individuals, they are ‘one’.
Being in Phoenix has showed me so quickly and so explicitly that I can’t keep going in the Christian walk apart from community. Evil is real, times get hard, and without the support of a church body we can easily get picked off by the enemy. I’ve been tremendously blessed by the generosity and kindness of my church body here in Phoenix. Without them it would have been far too hard to walk through death in my family and assimilating to a new place.
That’s one of the coolest blessings of following Christ. When we enter into salvation through faith, we become a part of something so much bigger than any one of us.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, – Ephesians 2:19
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. – Romans 12:5
That verse from Ephesians is in a passage describing what Christ did for us on the cross, all the benefits of salvation. We were saved by grace. We were affirmed as His workmanship. We have been brought near to God through the blood of Christ. We are no longer far off, instead we have been reconciled to God and are at peace with Him. We have access to the Father. Yet we also have been given the blessed hope of living in community with all believers across the globe. We are no longer strangers and aliens, we are fellow citizens in the household of God. We are, according to Paul, one body in Christ.
We are one.
The second verse of the song is even cooler in my opinion. As a younger follower of Christ, in a sense my journey has only begun, but I do not journey alone. I’m being equipped and encouraged by those who have gone before, Christ-followers from previous generations.
Simba tells Kiara that in the midst of tears of joy and tears of pain, nothing will destroy the fact that the pride is one. The pride is one big family under the sun. Simba promises Kiara that all the wisdom and courage she needs is found inside the pride, inside the community that she was born into.
Members of my generation (including myself at times) have bought the lie that we don’t need the organized church to pursue Christ. Oh that we would come to realize what a blessing the organized church is. As followers of Christ we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. We will find all the wisdom and courage that we need to stand for Christ in the context of the church community.
I still struggle with how to do this well. But Satan loves nothing more than isolating Christians and figuring out how to tear them down outside of community. Don’t let him.
Acknowledge the church community as the blessing that it is. Embrace it. Find courage, wisdom, support, purpose, hope, joy, and so much more in the bride of Christ.
We weren’t made to be alone.
In His Name,
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