2014 Lenten Devotional – “40 Days of Disney” – Day 27
Song #14 – “God Help The Outcasts” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
“The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” marked acclaimed composer Stephen Schwartz’s (think “Wicked”) second musical endeavor with Disney coming off the success of 1995’s “Pocahontas.” While “Hunchback” saw a decline in positive critical reception, the music from the film has long been considered one of the more under-rated gems in Disney’s musical collection.
In truth, little needs to be said about Esmerelda’s moving prayer to make a devotion any more relevant. She begins, “”God help the outcasts, hungry from birth. Show them the mercy they don’t find on earth.” She concludes, “Please help my people, the poor and down trod. I thought that we all were the children of God.” Her only concerning remark comes when she exclaims, “God help the outcasts or nobody will.” As Christians, this service is our explicit responsibility, modeled by the life of Christ, and spelled out clearly by his brother, James, who states, “True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties and to keep the world from contaminating us,” (James 1:27, CEB). While faith may be an essential element of life in Christ, the belief comes with responsibility, specifically, works of mercy and justice.
God of mercy, encourage our hearts to enable our hands for acts of compassion. As you delivered your people from slavery in Egypt, and delivered us from sin and death by your Son, so to, may we commit ourselves and work diligently towards the deliverance of all who are oppressed or outcast. Amen.