Recently my wife and I saw The Lion King at the Orpheum in Memphis. Each of us had seen it once before, so we knew we were in for a treat.
The costume design, choreography, set design, and music were spectacular. The colors and sounds coalesced into an amazing experience. In particular, the Zulu songs interspersed throughout appealed to me the most. (That, and Zazu’s humor. When threatened with being fired, he whined, “What am I going to do, sing for tips on Beale Street?” and when singing while trapped in a cage by Scar, he sang, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…” Scar quips, “Sing something with a little bounce, Zazu!” Zazu’s response: “LET IT GO! LET IT GO!”
The Zulu songs resonated with me in part, because they showcase the intense beauty of God’s creativity in making humanity as His image-bearers. What rich language and culture and music are represented by The Lion King! The richness of God’s pleasure can be seen by a native West Tennessean like me, and enjoyed in worship of the God who made it–in spite of whatever the composers, actors, and musicians may intend.
It also made me think of that great day described in Revelation 5 where the chorus of “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!” will include the energetic rhythms of African music and the quick tempo of Zulu. It will be in perfect harmony with the Southern drawl of a West Tennessean, and it will only add to our wonder.