This one comes to us from Blake Nail.

Nostalgia bleeds through the screen as The Lion King remake plays before me. The CGI is astounding and the story still holds strong. For many, it’s a remembrance of their childhood. A flashback to simpler times. A time forgotten. However, through Simba’s eyes, something else has been forgotten: his identity.

Simba is riddled with amnesia about who he is because of the guilt and shame he has carried for so long. When Simba is just a cub, his Uncle Scar murders Simba’s father, and Scar blames Simba for the death. The accusation drives Simba into the desert where he meets misfit friends, eats disgusting bugs, and tries to live life under the banner of “Hakuna Matata.” Translation: “No worries.” But the worries do not stay away “for the rest of your days.” They actually come hunting him down. 

His childhood friend Nala attempts to call him back to his identity, but Simba pushes her aside, the shame continuing to hamper his perceptions. At least, until Simba receives a visit from Rafiki, a baboon and spiritual guide of sorts, who tells Simba that he can still hear from his father for he is alive. Simba follows Rafiki to a watering hole where, in his reflection, he sees his father in himself. Then, above the waters, the clouds cluster together, and a voice echoes through them: “Remember who you are… You are my son…”

Rafiki informs Simba his father lives on in him. Simba receives this good news, remembering whose he is, regardless of the lies Scar has fed him. Simba, now equipped and strengthened, returns home to reclaim what is rightly his as the son of Mufasa and to defeat Scar and the laughing hyenas once and for all.

Simba is not unlike the downtrodden Christian who can’t stop staring at the rap sheet of their sins. Who has forgotten the kingdom they belong to and the king who is their father. Who has forgotten the Spirit who resides inside them, forgotten their status as son or daughter.

Simba’s communion moment with his father is one to remind us of ours. And just like his forgetfulness, we too forget who we are. We forget wherever we are, whatever we do, nothing will separate us from the love of God. We forget our sins are remembered no more. So eat of the bread, drink of the wine, and hear the exalted voice of James Earl Jones calling you to remember.