One of my favourite cartoon films is Disney’s The Lion King. It may be the last of the great animated cartoons in the classic style (as opposed to computer-generated animation) and has all the right ingredients: great characters voiced wonderfully by great actors; a mixture of humour and pathos; a baddy; love; and catchy songs.
I was reflecting on one of my favourite scenes in yesterday morning’s sermon. You can watch a low quality clip of the scene here. The hyenas are reflecting on Muphasa (the Lion King) and how even his name makes them shudder. I made the comment that there are times when I have a similar experience with God. When I read passages like Revelation 4 and consider all that is going on in worshipping God it sends a shiver down my spine. I have had that same experience as I have stood on top of Ben Nevis and looked across at the mountains around. I have had that experience as I have prayed quietly on my own. I have also had that experience in church on Sundays, believe it or not! It happens in singing songs and hymns. It happens as I listen to people read the Bible, pray or preach. It happens often when I take communion.
I had one such experience this morning. I subscribe to Scripture Union’s WordLive Bible Studies that arrive in my email inbox every morning and this morning was a continuation of a series looking at Moses leading the Hebrews from captivity in Egypt through the desert towards the Promised Land. Today we are at Exodus 33.
7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped at the entrances to their tents. 11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
The shudder came when I read ‘The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.’ Just think about that for a moment.
Moses and God having a cosy chat.
Yet he offers us the same opportunity all day, every day. We can talk with him as one speaks to a friend. WHY don’t I take advantage of that more often?
Jesus and Moses were playing golf one day on the Old Course at St Andrews. This course has a burn (stream) that runs through the course, and on the first hole Moses expressed his doubts that Jesus could make the shot over the burn that protects the green.
“Watch this, Moses, I think I can do it,” exclaimed Jesus. “I’ve seen Seve Ballesteros make this shot, and if Seve Ballesteros can do it, then so can I.”
Moses rolled his eyes and let Jesus try. Sure enough, the ball splashed into the water. Moses parted the water for Jesus, who went in to retrieve his ball.
Jesus, however, was not ready to give up.
“I know I can do this, Moses – I’ve seen Seve Ballesteros do it, and if he can do it, then so can I.”
True to form, however, Jesus’ ball ended up back in the water. Moses parted the water, and Jesus went in to retrieve the ball.
“Look, Jesus,” said Moses. “Try again if you like, but I’m not parting the water for you again.”
“Fair enough, Moses,” said Jesus. “But you know, I’ve seen Seve Ballesteros make this shot, and if Seve Ballesteros can do it, then so can I.”
Once again, Jesus’ ball was in the water. Jesus proceeded to walk upon the water to get it.
Another group of golfers came up behind Moses and saw Jesus walking on the water. “Holy Cow!” one of them said to Moses. “Who does that guy think he is? Jesus ?”
“No,” said Moses, rolling his eyes. “He thinks he’s Seve Ballesteros.”