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Remember Who You Are

Generous Stewards lion's faceIt was thrilling to see the new version of the movie The Lion King! It was a whole, new experience with real animals (and evidently very sophisticated computer work): a you-are-there experience. I don’t know if it’s because this version was based on the screenplay, but it contained several have-to-reflect-on-it adult one-liners.

I mean “adult” in a good sense. For example, one main theme was “Remember who you are.” So here was this lion cub who was actually the son of the Lion King, scared away by his evil-influence uncle and drawn into the “no worries, no responsibilities” perspective on life. That makes for a wonderful “Hakuna Matata” song, but a less-than-meaningful way of living.

The plot thickens, as they say. But I was stuck on “Remember who you are.” Eventually Simba realizes who he truly is (with help from his community, recognized or not), and he takes his rightful place in supporting “The Circle of Life.”

The thing is, we are sons and daughters of the one, true King (or “Sovereign,” to be more inclusive). We are a “royal priesthood.” The One who created and sustains all that is alive is our own Loving Parent, who forgives us and lets us have a new beginning. (That forgiveness bit was in The Lion King, too.) And whose promise to us – to Abraham and all his descendants — also is in the stars.

“Remember your baptism and be grateful,” says our Renewal of Baptism ritual. That’s like saying “Remember who you are.” As with Simba, so for Jesus followers: If You Know Who You Are You’ll Know What to Do.

Betsy Schwarzentraub