[I played the start of Can you feel the love tonight from the Lion King movie and asked the class "Who recognises this?"]
Written by Elton John and Tim Rice
When we watched The Lion King last week, it seemed very popular. Why do you like it so much? What's your favourite scene?
There are a lot of great parts, aren't there?
The Lion King is a story about how treachery can destroy something good, about choosing to take responsibility, and about how goodness and friendship can take something that's horribly broken and restore it. The reason that affects us so deeply is that we wish, almost more than anything we could wish for, that this story was true.
These are not just shallow wishes, but very deep yearnings shared by all humanity. If only there really was someone who loved us like Mufasa. If only we could be like Simba, or like Nala.
If you think of any of your favourite stories, I can almost guarantee that the reason you like them is because they touch these same deep yearnings. From Cinderella, to Dragon Booster, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, to The Matrix.
[We listened to the whole song and read the words]
"Can you feel the love tonight / It is where we are”
Not just the warm comfort of Simba and Nala
snuggling together in the happy ending, but ...
Can you feel the love, right where we are?
“It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer / That we got this far”
We are all like wanderers trying to find our way through life. God's love is shown through the world around us. Most of the time we take it for granted. But in some magic moments you've probably felt it.
In those times, you experience a great sense of wonder, a wide-eyed amazement and a peace that re-assures you that everything is alright. At times like these we are touched by an enormous love that comes from God.
I think that's what the last line of the chorus is about...
“It's enough to make kings and vagabonds / Believe the very best”
It doesn't matter if you're a king in a palace or homeless on the streets, when we are touched by love, we realise that the best is possible.
That's why The Lion King is so moving. It touches us deep inside with a belief in what is good and right.
But The Lion King is, in the end, just a story. Once it's over we know it isn't real and we are left with an unfulfilled yearning. That desire for the very best goes unanswered.
There is an older and deeper story, however, that does answer our most heart-felt desire. At the very core, this yearning to believe in the very best is a desire for God. When we are touched by God's love, we realise that the very best is actually true. That there is a rhyme and reason to the way the world works. That our hearts can beat as one: a complex rhythm of live that's driven by the beat of God's own heart.
Can you feel that magic?
In some enchanted moments we can feel the love of God.