Learning and Remembering

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“A, B, C, D, E, F, G…” 

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star…”

“Are you sleepy? Are you sleepy…” 

This is my life right now. I have a 3 year old daughter and I absolutely love her to bits! At this age, she’s learning more and more words. She’s learning to speak in full sentences. One thing that can’t be ignored (because of her loudness) is learning to sing these children songs. By the way, have you ever noticed that many of these songs have the EXACT same melody? What?! Mind BLOWN!!! Anyways, back to the subject. 

As some one who loves music, I absolutely love hearing her little voice singing. Recently she has been singing “This is the Day.” You know it!…

“This is the day,
This is the day 
That the Lord has made

I will rejoice, 
I will rejoice
And be glad in it.”

There’s something magical that happens when words are combined with the highs and lows of a a melody and a backdrop of notes, chords, and instruments. It’s pleasing to the ear. It’s enjoyable. And for some strange reason, the words become a little more memorable. We see this as we teach our children. Toddler’s learn the “ABC’s.” There’s the “Chemistry Element Song” for chemistry. There’s the “U.S. President’s Song” for U.S. History. It’s usually hard to initially learn these songs. But, once they are learned, they are remembered. Songs are a wonderful tool to help us now only learn, but remember! 

As we look in the book of Exodus in chapter 15, we see this very idea of songs as a tool to help us learn and remember. God calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery and into the promised land. After a series of plagues upon the Egyptians, Pharaoh finally lets God’s people go. (“Let my people GooOOO!!) As they were nearing the Red Sea, Pharaoh’s army began chasing them because Pharaoh had changed his mind once again. God then commanded the Red Sea to part and the Israelites were able to cross the sea on dry ground! When Pharaoh’s army tried to cross, the waters subsided and God defeated Pharaoh’s army for His people. I’m sure there was much celebration and much relief. The interesting thing is they didn’t just have a big party and continue on their way. They sang. Moses took the time to write a song about how God delivered them from the Egyptians, taught the Israelites the song, and they sang!!! 

Recently, I had someone express how much they enjoyed the music at New City. They stated how much they really enjoyed how everything sounded but really noticed and saw the story of the gospel displayed: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. This is our goal each and every Sunday morning at New City Church. We sing through the gospel story. We sing in response to our Holy and magnificent God who created all things. We sing confessing the brokenness of this world and us and our need for a savior. We sing and celebrate the beautiful, wonderful name of our Savior, Jesus. We sing and remember His life, death, and resurrection. We sing with hope that God is working in us making us more like Jesus through His Holy Spirit and will one day bring us home. 

Even though God had just delivered His people out of Egypt in a miraculous way, I mean, walking on dry land between walls of ocean water…come on!! He knew that people would forget, no matter how spectacular. Moses’ song was used to celebrate and remember what God had done for them. Not only that but this was a song to help teach future generations of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Again, why? Because people forget. They forget. We forget. As believers today, we forget. We forget the miraculous act of salvation that has taken place in our lives. We forget. We misbelieve. We NEED the constant reminder of the gospel on Sunday mornings as we gather as a family. We need songs to help us remember that God is still good and faithful, that it’s His glory we pursue and not our own. 

I want to encourage you with a couple of things that will help us as we gather on Sundays:

  1. Arrive on time. The music portion at New City is not just something you can skip before the MAIN event. Music isn’t just the previews before the movie. It’s the walk through of the Gospel story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. When we come late, it’s almost like we are just jumping into the middle of the story. And at that point, it’s really easy to lose interest.

  2. Stay tuned in. Think about the lyrics and the scripture that’s being presented. Why are we singing this song at this point of the service? What does that passage of scripture say about who God is and what He’s done? What does the liturgy say about who I am and what my response should be? I know it’s tempting to worry about this or that. There’s a purpose to singing and we lose that if we aren’t focused.

  3. SING LOUDLY!!! Sing so that these words become engrained in your heart and minds. Sing to remember why we sing. Sing to celebrate and remember what Jesus has done for you, what He’s done for us. Sing with conviction. Sing as though the person next to you needs to hear these truths…because they probably do!!! What an encouragement it is to hear your brothers and sisters in Christ singing and rehearsing the truths of God. Sing because it is an example to non-believers that the Gospel is real. Sing lest you or I forget.