September 14, 2023

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

One of my favorite movies from high school was Disney’s The Lion King. In 1994, the Walt Disney Company released their 32nd feature film. It was a visually and musically powerful story that took everyone in the theatre right into the heart of Pride Lands of Africa. It was an amazing cast who voiced characters like Timon, Pumbaa, Zazu, Scar and Nala. The music was written by Tim Rice and Elton John. Together they wrote five original songs, including “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.” This amazing film would win two golden globes and two Academy Awards.

Following the amazing success of this film, Disney began working on a stage adaptation. In October of 1997, The Lion King opened on Broadway. It was a tremendous success. It is now one of the most successful Broadway shows in history. It is still on stage today and is now the highest grossing Broadway production in history.

The characters, the music, the movie animation, the musical staging for The Lion King have all helped lead to make this a successful show. However, it takes far more than good music and setting to make a good show. The story must speak to the heart of those who are giving up their time to watch the show.

At the heart of the story is the struggle of a young lion, Simba, to overcome the mistakes of his past. Simba was a young lion who struggled to listen to wise advice. He wanted only what he wanted, and his attitude attributed to significant trials, including the death of his father, Mufasa, the King.  At first, Simba ran from has past, hid from his consequences, and ignored his responsibilities. Later, as he matured, he began to wrestle with his actions and who he was meant to be. When Simba stopped running from his past, he was able to understand that his past was not the only thing that defined his future. He would become King… A mighty king.

Each of us has a past. Our past is made up of many good decisions and some not-so-good decisions. We have experienced joy and pain. We have achieved great success and failure. Our past is an important part of who we are, but it is not the answer to the question, “Who am I?”

The Apostle Paul writes clearly in the book of Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship. We are created by a loving God, created in God’s image, and we are called God’s children. Our past often helps to shape us, but it does not define us. Our present and our future are in the hands of a loving God who is still at work in our lives, shaping us to be the people God has always intended us to become. When you struggle with your past, remember who created you and who is at work in your life today. You are not your past! You are a child of the King! You are God’s workmanship!

– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship