#Song4Lent · Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Movie · Musical Theatre

A Song for Lent – Day 39 – Good Friday –

To Read: Click on song title to watch a video

He Lives in You

from The Lion King

Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala (the lion and the leopard)

Night and the spirit of life calling
Oh, oh, iyo, mamela (listen)
And the voice with the fear of a child answers
Iyo iyo, mamela

Wait, there’s no mountain too great
Hear these words and have faith
Oh, oh, iyo, have faith

Hela hey mamela, hela hey mamela (hey listen)

He lives in you, he lives in me
He watches over everything we see
Into the waters, into the truth
In your reflection, he lives in you

Dream, and the voice in the wind whispers
Iyo mamela 

Wait, there’s no mountain too great
Hear these words and have faith, oh, oh, iyo

He lives in you, he lives in me
He watches over everything we see
Into the waters, into the truth
In your reflection, he lives in you

Ingonyama nengw’ enamabale  (Repeats)

In your reflection, he lives, he lives, he lives, he lives in you
He lives, he lives, he lives in you
He watches over everything we see


From the Scriptures: 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12.1-2

To Reflect: 

Godspell was the first show I saw in the West End but our four-year old grandson William went one better; his first West End show was The Lion King.  A rather overwhelming choice for a wee young lad one might expect but with a South African born father who taught his son to roar before he could construct proper sentences we had no worries when he was whisked off of for a surprise outing to The Lyceum theatre just off The Strand.  He came back starry-eyed and roaring even louder!

Today’s song is the one I occasionally catch William’s dad, mimickingThe Lion KingMufasa, singing to his son.  As I see a proud Dad working hard at parenting a young boy I see a deeper meaning to this song.  It is more than a simple statement of the ‘Circle of Life’ but a call to those who have gone before us aiding us in the journey ahead.

For Africans this is part of the whole concept of Ubuntu.  Western people would often belittle the African respect for the Ancestors as ‘primitive’ but it is, in many respects, no different than being encouraged by the faithful ‘great cloud of witnesses’ of which the writer to the Hebrews speaks.

But there is more…

On Good Friday, a day on which we focus on death, it is easy to forget the days on either side of it.  The words of the Last Supper and the promise of Easter ahead are what makes sense of the brutality of the Cross.  This is why the church speaks of the Easter Triduum.  We need all of these days to make sense of the Easter Experience.  If we only have the Cross we have no joy in our faith. If we only have Easter Day we have no answer to ‘The Problem of Pain’[i]. 

Our Beloved’s brutal death on the Cross is pointless if it leaves nothing behind to help us hold on to life.  In the Lion King today’s song is sung twice, once by Mufasa to Simba as ‘They live in you’ and then again by Rafiki (the sangoma in the body of a Mandrill) as ‘He lives in you’. Mufasa’s death is what inspires Simba to return home to the Pride and take his place as leader on Pride Rock.

Yes, Good Friday is shrouded in death, but take the shroud away and it reveals a life that gives itself to live in us. A life that watches over us, strengthens us, and guides us into the truth.

With Simba, weep today.  But also with Simba learn to turn homeward. face the past, seize the future and, with our grandson, ROAR!


To Pray: 

O Risen Christ,
you go down to the lowest depths
of our human condition,
and you burden yourself
with what burdens us.
Still more, you even go
to visit those who have died
without being able to know you.
And even when within us
we can hear no refrain
of your presence,
you are there.
Through your Holy Spirit
you remain with us.

Brother Roger of Taizé, France 


To Do:

1)    Remember in prayer those in your past whose examples have helped you in the present
2)    Pray for those who look to you as an example. Ask for grace that in the years ahead they will look back on you as an inspiration to live their live for others.

Encore: Click on song title to watch a video 

The opening Swahili chant of the Lion King calls the whole world to listen and learn that everyone and everything is part of The Circle of Life.



Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s