Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Friday, February 27, 2009

the KING - Dentmon or Simba?

I don't do theater...or musicals. I'm great at watching ESPN, but somehow manage to skip the Tony Awards on TV every year. I'll watch downhill skiing, March Madness, or even (snore) baseball, before Phantom of the Opera or O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a, where cowboys prove their prowess by spelling their own state and dancing at the same time.

But I live in a musical loving family and am married to a musical loving wife who wanted our family to see "The Lion King" for her birthday. Yes, I know. The Huskies won in overtime last night and are on the verge of winning the conference for the first time since 1953. I missed it...all of it; and I'm glad I did.

Though I arrived a few minutes late to the musical because of serious case of double booking, I settled into my seat and in less than a minute was wholly drawn into the story. Everything about this musical was remarkable; set design, costumes, the quality of both the music, orchestration, and singing - all were perfect.

But over and above all that was the story itself, a story of generations and passing the baton of life to our offspring. Within that story were multiple seeds of the gospel, or at least that's what I was thinking.

When the son, who's been running from his destiny because he's believed the lies of accuser, encounters the voice of truth, he realizes that he's been given a strength not his own in order to fulfill a calling beyond that which he thinks he can do. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?
The same truth is found here. And, in these lyrics, which brought me to tears, as I sat with my own children, praying that they will find this strength as their futures unfold in a world that, God knows, will push them to the limits of their human capacities. It was more powerful than Dentmon's shooting last night, and that's saying a lot!

I don't have time to write of the other powerful song, but read the lyrics and you see how desperately we need hope. When we realize that we have a hope and confidence that the sun will rise, that a new kingdom will come, that weapons will be gone, that children will be feed, our assurance of this future gives us both strength, and the courage to work towards, and pray for, that very sunrise which alone can warm our cold and darkened world: the reign of the true King.

I went to Cabaret last year, and it was equally powerful. It's a funny thing. I'd never choose to go except for the relationships that get me through the door. But when I'm there, it just seems that the convergence of beauty, creativity, talent, and meaning all converge to make for a powerful experience, like a shootout in ice-hockey, or a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Yes, there is life outside of my own tastes, if I'll be willing to show up and jump into the event. Thanks family... for leading me into a different, enthralling, and uplifting world...again. Now, can we please watch some basketball together?


At 27/2/09 13:08, Blogger Donna said...

Does one night at the theatre really equal a new tv and an entire month of basketball? Well, this wife thinks so. Thanks for going on a lion hunt with your family before the madness begins. It was the purrrrfect birthday present.

Complimentary dinner at the grand opening of the new Snoose Junction restaurant on Greenwood Ave? Free.
5 tickets for The Lion King? More than I care to admit.
Time spent together with all five Dahlstroms? Priceless.

At 27/2/09 18:27, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought that the lyrics from "Endless Night" in the Lion King were a great example of struggling with faith--at least it seemed to speak to me. I encourage everyone to try to listen to the cast recording of that moves me more than most worship songs.

My wife and I went to Bethany for a few years, but ended up moving to a church closer to home. I do, though, miss the teaching that happened at Bethany. Thanks for the blog and the online sermons.

At 28/2/09 09:08, Blogger mike said...

Richard, this doesn't have anything to do with your Lion King post, though I had the near same experience as you (don't like musicals, wife bought us tickets, and I ended up loving it).

I'm reading your book, O2, which I accidentally stumbled upon in the Nampa Public Library in Nampa, Idaho, of all places. I am only a few chapters into it, but it is resonating with my soul. About 10 years ago I went through a profound "I need to exhale or I'm gonna die" experience. I had made a commitment to read at least one chapter of my Bible every day, and 3 years later I had only missed maybe 5 days at most. But I found myself completely dead spiritually and I felt like I NEEDED to stop reading my Bible. I see now that I had been inhaling from 3 years without ever exhaling and I got to a point where I couldn't take in any more oxygen without exhaling first.

Thankfully, today, I am learning the rhythm of both. Thanks for writing your book. I look forward to discovering many more truths as I continue to read!


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