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Anointing in The Lion King

Did you see the movie The Lion King? Did you notice that there is an anointing at the very beginning of the movie? After the birth of the king's son Simba, all of the animals gather at Pride Rock for the anointing. Rafiki, the baboon in the story who serves as a kind of high priest of the jungle kingdom, marks the baby lion's forehead with oil and then lifts him up for all of the animals to see. The elephants trumpet, the music swells, and the animals all bow down to show their respect for the future king. Rafiki then goes into a cave and draws a picture of Simba on the wall and puts the mark of his anointing on his forehead. Before he has any consciousness of who he is, the most important part of Simba's identity is given to him. He is the son of a king, and he has been anointed as the future king in front of the whole community.

Anointing is serious business. It is holy business....

In The Lion King, when Simba runs away after Scar has convinced him that he is responsible for his father's death, he tries to forget who he is. He adopts the problem-free philosophy of his new friends, Pumbaa and Timon: "Hakuna Matata." It means no worries for the rest of your days. And for a while Simba is happy just being an ordinary animal enjoying life with his friends. And then one day Nala, his childhood friend and long-lost love, shows up and tells him what has been happening in Pride Land during his absence. She tells how much all of the animals need him to come home and be king. And after some soul-searching and a romp with Nala in the moonlight while Elton John croons his Oscar-winning song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," he goes home to be the king he was anointed to be. And every creature in the jungle lives happily ever after, except for the evil king Scar who is devoured by the hyenas.

Anointing is serious business. It is holy business.

- John Sumwalt, "The Anointing," in the Storyshare online sermon resource
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