One of the summer’s most anticipated movies, the live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King, is in theaters now, and for many of us, it’s a chance to relive our childhood. For others, it’s a chance to share something special from our youth with our own children. And for some, it’s an opportunity to hear a story we’ve never heard before.
The same is true for our faith. Some of us are continuing a tradition that we’ve known since we were kids. Some of us are sharing these faith traditions with our families. And for some of us, the story of Jesus is brand new.
Whether one, or both, of these stories are new or a tale as old as time for us, there are several faith lessons we can learn from this Disney favorite. One of those lessons is that Jesus transforms us. Warning- spoilers ahead!
Jesus transforms us.
After running away from his past, Simba is faced with the decision to continue running or return to his home, Pride Rock, and take his place as king. His uncle, Scar, has deceived the kingdom and allowed destruction to come over the land. Simba is the only hope for peace to be restored.
After some encouragement from Rafiki, an old friend of his father’s, Simba knows he must return home. Rafiki says, “Change is good,” to which Simba replies, “Yeah, but it’s not easy. I know what I have to do, but going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.” Rafiki agrees, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Simba has a choice to keep hiding from his past in the jungle or be transformed into the king he was meant to be. And with that, Simba makes the decision to return home and save his home from the destruction of Scar.
Jesus gives us this same option. If we lean into Him, He will transform us. He will give us a new life and a new purpose. Every day he is transforming lives, communities, and the world around us to be more like the Kingdom of Heaven. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been. He is ready and waiting to transform us into who we are meant to be.
Find other faith lessons in The Lion King here.