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I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 NIV)

Recently, I saw again the animated version of the Lion King. As you know, Simba, the lion, finds himself waking up in the middle of the desert after a traumatic event in which his father dies. Timon and Pumbaa find him. Simba grows up with Timon and Pumbaa in the jungle. Scar, Simba’s uncle, tricks Simba into thinking that he is responsible for his father’s death. Therefore, Simba feels that he cannot go back to his family. He does not grow up with the lions. Instead, he grows up with a meerkat and warthog for friends. Where does Simba belong? Does he belong to the lions or to this new family of Timon, Pumbaa and him?

There is a famous scene in which the lion, the meerkat and the warthog sing the song “Hakuna Matata” which in Swahili means “no worries”. Each time I hear the expression, “no worries”, it reminds me of my time in Australia. There they like to say, “no worries, mate!” I grew up in Malaysia. I went to Australia for my university studies. I came to Canada to go to theological college. Sometimes, there is a lingering question even as I reach middle age. Where do I belong? As I do life coaching with people, this seems to be a common question. Where do I belong? Where do we belong?

Simba must go through a long and difficult journey from his place of birth. The movie ends with Simba, now a grown adult lion, saving his family and the other animals from Scar, his uncle, and the hyenas. He returns to his homeland, as the lion king. After a life journey, Simba returns home where he truly belongs.

Right now, on Sundays we are reading Psalms 120-134 which are called the Songs of Ascents. These Psalms are called the Songs of Ascents because the pilgrims view their journey as going up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem into the presence of God. It does not matter where the pilgrims come from, north, south, east or west. They are going up to Yahweh’s presence in Zion.

However, there will come a time at the end of the world as we see it, our journey will be different. There will be no longer any need to go up into God’s presence. Instead God will come down to us. Revelation 21:2 promises us:

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 NIV)

Until that day, we wait patiently for the Jerusalem-to-come. When that happens, we will truly get the answer to questions, “Where do I belong?” “Where do we belong?”

Pastor Pye