I don’t know about you but I can be a pretty forgetful person. Sometimes it can create a very embarrassing situation, like the day I totally forgot that it was our ninth anniversary. In spite of several serious hints from my wife, I had approached the day like so many other days completely preoccupied with my agenda of doing what I felt was right, good or necessary. Believe me our tenth anniversary was not forgotten and was well thought out in advance with lots of careful planning and non-customary attention to detail.
…It is so easy to get lazy and forget.
Perhaps it stems from an acute case of ADD. It’s easy for all of us to move out of the present moment and get preoccupied with a dozen items in the yet-to-be future.
A Psalm of David
O my soul, bless GOD. From head to toe, I’ll bless His holy name!
O my soul, bless GOD,
don’t forget a single blessing! Psalm 103
As we begin a new year and sing a New Song, remembering is vital. God remembers his covenant with us and calls us to remember: through Scripture, symbol, songs (old, new, and renewed), history, liturgy, sacrament, and celebration. Remember the captivity. Remember the deliverance. Remember the past redemption and the hope of greater freedom yet to come. Remember the promised future.
Remembering is an anchor in a wildly changing social/cultural landscape, where words and industries morph by the second. Yesterday’s Church was “missional”—for about five minutes—and before you can wrap your heart or head around that, it has become “networked.” Emergent has become Fresh Expressions. But like all things, that may change soon enough. Terms such as record industry—in the sense of a few localized hubs of creativity—are as relevant as talking about the hula hoop. A diaspora of artists have moved recording to the hinter- lands and are not playing by the former rules. CDs that sold for $15.00 are being downloaded for $5.00 or given away for free. And so our language must change with the changing times.
What make things a little slippery is the past we remember is not always the “authentic” past and God’s new song is iconoclastic. In bringing refreshing, it reorders and transforms both our past and future, to conform to his Truth and Reality.
A New Song is emerging; a song of remembrance, refreshing, new expressions and renewed lives—a song that connects the past, present and future together.
One could be troubled about what might seem like a mine field of possibilities. I choose to be excited about the present with all its uncertainties. A present where myriad expressions of worship for our Triune God can have legitimacy and, more importantly, they can have transforming power. Whether generated by labels or new media artists, a New Song is emerging; a song of remembrance, refreshing, new expressions and renewed lives—a song that connects the past, present and future together.
For those who die in Christ there is no grave, no sting of death. The New Song of the redeemed rings from heaven to earth for eternity…
God will remember his covenant with me:
“Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old” (Ps 25:6).
He calls me to remember his faithfulness:
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9).
Ultimately all the earth will remember:
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him…” (Ps 22.27).
As we remember, we will find the constant in an-ever-changing world: the One Who never changes, but is ever bringing a fresh expression of grace.
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CEO/Publisher of Worship Leader magazine, Song Discovery, and National Worship Leader Conferences