The funny thing about the gospel is that it’s everywhere if you know how to look; the world can’t help but seep gospel out of its pores. Even those set most adamantly against Christ echo His song faintly. Creation, fall, redemption, restoration, grace, shame, transforming love, rebellion, community, rescue, chaos, beauty, the war between good and evil—this is the stuff of legends, pointing our hearts toward eternity. Here are three clips running with the threads of Scripture just beneath the surface.
Lewis, a young inventor without a family, has learned the hard way that failing equals rejection (a common feature of the orphan mindset so many believers hold). This mentality creates a lot of stress because he must choose between longing for acceptance and longing for significance. When a warm, welcoming family depend on Lewis to fix something and he is unsuccessful, the boy braces himself for severe backlash—being excluded from community once again. But the Robinsons beautifully cover his fear and shame, providing a safe place to make mistakes. We as the family of Christ should embody that same sense of grace-saturated encouragement to one another in the face of failure.
Identity crisis is a major problem in today’s world, even in the church. Like Simba, we are desperate for a reorienting of self around our Father. We all need “creepy little monkeys” to remind us of our real name and lead us back to an encounter with truth. Notice how much space Rafiki offers the confused Simba at first—he doesn’t bash him over the head (well, not yet) or take up the responsibility of convincing him. Rafiki seeks him out, grabs his attention, guides him to openness, leads him to the one who can help, and then assists in processing and applying what he’s learned. This is discipleship at its finest. Forgetting comes with the territory. We must walk with one another toward remembering the Father and aligning our decisions accordingly.
Okay, people, this one’s fairly straightforward. If a hungry crocodile is closing in on me (which is surprisingly often given the spiritual realities of ministry life in New England), I’m going to need some good gospel friends to jump from their perch of safety and bodyslam the beast so I can escape. This clip is a funny but real picture of how the church is meant to operate—every individual on the scene either being chased by the enemy, fighting the enemy, cheering those in danger on like their lives depend on it, or holding the camera so others can learn. This is no time for silent, judgmental observation.
Which of these clips most speaks to you? What is God inviting you to do/be/believe?