I remember the time I skinned my six-year-old knees when I fell down getting the mail at the end of our street. I remember hiking with my dad. I remember singing duets and strumming guitars with my mom. I remember my first crush. I remember not having a cell phone (but only barely).
I remember the day my five-year-old heart said ‘yes’ to Jesus. I remember the Lord setting my heart on fire one Sr High youth retreat weekend when I said ‘yes’ to full-time ministry. I remember feeling God’s tender embrace when I couldn’t feel anything else. I remember the way His peace has calmed my anxious, fearful heart more times than I can count. I remember all the times I didn’t have the money, but somehow He provided everything I needed anyway. I remember seeing Him change my friends. I remember seeing Him change my family. I remember.
What do you remember?
I’ve been challenged recently to worship God by remembering: remembering His promises and the way He’s fulfilled them in my life. Remembering His word, his commands. Remembering His character. I’ve always used remembrance as a “precursor” to “real” worship, like a springboard to get me to the place where I really meant what I was singing. And I don’t think that’s wrong – truly, may our worship songs be sung as a natural outpouring of praise and thankfulness in response to who God is and what He has done! But I think there’s also worship to be given even just in the remembering.
So what if we just remembered more often? What if we worshiped the Lord by talking about his faithfulness with a friend? What if we honored Him by journalling the moments we saw Him move? What if we quieted our hearts more often and just spent some sweet time reminiscing with Jesus? What if we worshiped that way?
The ancient Israelites did a LOT of remembering. From the memorials they erected, to the songs they sang, to the holidays they celebrated, to the food they ate, even to the names of their towns and cities, they were surrounded by reminders of who God is and what He had done. How important was it to God that His people remember? Check this out:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates… be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. –Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 12
And what about Jesus? Let’s fast forward to the New Testament:
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” — 1 Corinthians 1:23-25
Father, make us worshippers who do not forget to worship You by remembering.