This is #35 in the Crossing the Threhold series.
Most people reading this have probably seen at one time or another Disney's movie The Lion King. The opening scenes of the movie are both memorable and powerful; the music is stirring and the scenes are beautiful but I want to suggest there is much more going on as Circle of Life plays than meets the eye. If we look “along and through" rather than “at” as C.S.Lewis would say (Meditation in a Tool Shed) we are being given a glimpse of the first chapter of Genesis where God is creating the heaven and the earth and filling it with all “kinds” of beautiful things. The crown of creation of course comes on the sixth day when God says “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” He gives to Adam and Eve the role of royal (king) priests over His creation; they are His image bearers. Can you not see now how they might have been held up before all of creation by God their Father as young Simba was by his?
What on earth does this have to do with “going to church”? Well everything! As Simon Chan writes in Liturgical Theology “the first act of worship is the act of going to church” (pg.130). The people of God are leaving not just their homes and their work; they are leaving this world and entering the Kingdom of God. If you have ever attended a liturgical church where there is a procession up the aisle of choir and robed ministers with a priest, vicar, or pastor at the end you are once again seeing a re-enactment of the opening lines of the story. We are the first fruits of the New Creation and as such we are being gathered out of the world to enter His courts “joining with the hosts of heaven to sing praises to the One who sits on the throne” (LT pg130). God the Father is holding up His Son the Anointed One (Messiah) for all to come and worship Him. He is the one True King to whom all of creation gives glory honor and praise…..this is quite simply the meaning of “going to church”.