2014 Lenten Devotional – “40 Days of Disney” – Day 26
Song #15 – “Friend Like Me” – Aladdin
In Disney’s “Aladdin,” comedian Robin Williams made his animated musical debut with the show-stealing character, Genie, who added humor and magic to an already enchanting film. Like most genies not named Christina Aguilera, Robin William’s Genie was capable of granting Aladdin with three wishes, so long as they didn’t involve killing anyone, raising anyone from the dead, or making anyone fall in love.
Now, anyone who’s read the Gospels knows that Jesus is pretty skilled at one of those three! But, therein lies the problem. How often do we look to Jesus as a genie rather than a savior. How often to we make requests from God as if he is some mystical “granter of wishes,” rather than the creator of heaven and earth. Aladdin’s Genie sings “let me take your order, jot it down,” because he’s “in the mood to help you dude, you ain’t never had a friend like me.” Somehow, we think in order for Jesus to be our friend, it means he should also have to serve us. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? The Christian life is a life of service to God and others, as it says in 1 Samuel 12: 24, “Just fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Look at what great things he has done for you,” (CEB).
Great God, the giver of all good gifts, we struggle with our desires and the demands we sometimes make. Teach us to be gracious for all the blessings you have already poured out on our lives, so that we may fully commit to serving you by the grace of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.