Day 4 is here! As always, listen to the audio above and follow along with the text below. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, and share with a friend.
My daughter, Annabelle, had a phase where the only cartoon she wanted to see on the television was the 1994 Disney classic, The Lion King. During that phase, we’d watch the movie at least three times a day. We watched it so many times that I memorised all the dialog in that movie. Word for word, I could narrate the entire movie on a dare and win.
In the movie, there is this one scene where Simba, the rightful king of the pride lands, is confronted by the ghost of his dead father, Mufasa. Simba had run away from home because he thought himself responsible for his father’s death. Shame and guilt had consumed him, and his response was to run away and never return.
Mufasa appears to Simba in strange clouds and confronts him saying, “Simba! You have forgotten me. You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba! You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life. Remember who you are! You are my son and the one true king! Remember who you are.”
Even after watching that movie countless times, that scene always gives me the chills. For starters, the deep thunderous voice of James Earl Jones, who plays Mufasa, will make anything sound great. But the moment played out in this scene resonates with a reality I’m sure we can all relate with. A reality in which, sometimes, we may feel lost because we are running and hiding from past mistakes.
Deep within our hearts, there exists a persistent call to greatness. A desire to win and be significant. But in those moments of weakness, where we are running and hiding from the shame of our past, the tension is increased between our desire for significance and our reality of insecurity, inadequacy and all round shame.
The parable of the Lost Son.
In Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells the story of the lost Son. Jesus used lots of stories to demonstrate the true nature of God’s heart and His kingdom.
In this story, an impatient young man, who couldn’t wait for the day his father died, demanded for his inheritance and then run away from home. He quickly spent everything he had on wastefully extravagant living. When a severe famine filled the whole country, he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a man who sent him to feed pigs.
He was extremely broke and hungry to the point of wanting to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one allowed him to. Basically, the pigs were living a better life than this lost young man.
He then came to his senses and had this remembrance of his father’s house where even the servants lived a better life than he was living now. He figured that if he could go home with a half decent apology prepared for his dad, maybe… just maybe, his father would allow him to be a servant in his house. So he got up and began the journey back home.
While he was still a long way off, His father saw him, and filled with compassion for his son; He run to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. This must’ve been a very unexpected response for the son. Considering that he was afraid to come back home and his highest hope was that maybe his father could allow him to become a servant.
Instead, before he was even able to give his father the full apology he had prepared, the father was already celebrating. The father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.”
This is true for how God feels about you and me. Regardless of who you are and what you have done, in God’s eyes, you will always be His child. And when you do come to Him, there will always be a celebration because God loves you and desires to be intimate with you.
Separated from God, we live like orphans; trying to navigate and resolve the difficult issues of life. But the good news, is God has an abundant life; filled with purpose and hope prepared for us.
He isn’t going to force it on you… No! But you and I have the opportunity to live in constant remembrance of God. The one who loves us so much, that he sacrificed His only begotten son Jesus Christ, so that we could have eternal life.
So in the words of Mufasa, Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become. Remember who you are! You are God’s beloved and he isn’t done with you yet. Remember whose you are.
Good and gracious father
You have been consistent through the ages
You are consistent in all your ways
And your love for us remains strong
Gracious father, Teach us to remember you always.
Teach us to remember your finished work on the cross
And teach to remember that in you
We find our identity and purpose
And may that remembrance of you
Build in us faith and Hope for every situation
In Jesus name we pray
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.