Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2)

I used to read about how worship was about “remembering”.

I disagreed.

I didn’t like that language. To me, at the time, worship was about passion, intensity… Tears, repentance, joy.

The list went on and on; I preferred words like that over “flat-line” words like “remember.”

I mean, I remember to get milk from the store; I remember to pick up a pen before I leave for work (no really, I do).

I wanted worship to be more about “remembering.” I wanted it to be like … well…

A Rage Against the Machine Concert…

… Or … what was that band from Ireland?

THAT was what I wanted worship to feel like.

(and yes, EVERY Sunday)

But this weekend I reconsidered.

To put it bluntly, worship is absolutely based on remembrance: of our salvation, of the things God has done for us.

If it’s not, it’s idolatry.

Harsh, I know, but if worship isn’t grounded in the acts of God, than we are either making up things up or worshiping “worship.”

And that adds up to idolatry.

It’s easy to sing songs; it’s not too difficult to get people to sing with you  (well, some Sundays it is).

But that’s not the point.

Over and over, God tells people to “remember” how He set them free from slavery, and brought them through the wilderness to the land that He promised them. He could’ve put on an amazing light show; he could’ve parted the sea (again)…

… He probably could even have played “Fix You” (just to get ’em all crying and to show how relevant He is).

But He didn’t. He just said, “Remember that I’ve done this thing for you and for my mission in the world. That tells you everything you need to know about me.

The point is to get people to remember their salvation, and to thank God for it, and to remind themselves what He is capable of, what His character is.

That’s a bit harder.



8 thoughts on “Remember

  1. Thanks for putting this out there Eric

    My Humble Opinion is : The reason Worship “feels” feeble in must cases has much less to do with the talent or “leadership” of the worship leader, and more to do with the condition of the heart of the worshiper.
    Again, in my opinion, worship is supposed a response to the love, respect, joy, enthusiasm, or intimacy, that believers feel about their relationship with God. If those genuine feelings are not present in the souls of believers, then, their enthusiastic movement and expressions in “worship time” are more likely visceral responses to the beat, rhythm, and volume of the tune being played.
    If I had my way “worship time” would be reserved for the back end of services, after people have had the opportunity to listen to a message that reminded them of the reality of God and His absolute intention and desire for intimate relationship and interaction with them. I think worship then would be a “response” of declaring the acknowledgment of the love they feel FROM God and FOR God.
    Just my two cents worth

    • I agree, Joel… I always liked the way Axis (WAY back in the day) would “worship” more post-message … the response time made so much more sense then.

      I think there are opportunities for growth on both sides of the message, but it does all boil down to our heart.

      Ultimately Sunday needs to reflect Monday – Saturday, and vice versa.

  2. For me, remembering is worship…for why else would we come to praise if we didn’t remember what God has done and is doing?

    We come to give thanks because we remember the creation…its goodness, its purpose, its abundance…to give thanks for God’s faithfulness. We give thanks because we remember the one who redeemed us; and we give thanks for the continual power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    We come to be fed…by the reading and hearing of God’s Word which is all about remembering how the divine story has intersected with the human story;
    to be encouraged by the remembering of how God has worked in our own lives in the past and so find assurance that God will be with us through our current difficulty.

    In my denomination where Communion–the Lord’s Supper–is part of every worship service, I am called…and sometime challenged…every week to remember an ancient meal made holy by the one who broke the bread and filled the cup…the one who is the bread of life and the cup of salvation. I am both humbled and embolded that such grace (grace upon grace as John says) is given me…through no merit or work of my own but purely because of God’s magnanimous love.

    “Do this is remembrance of me”

    Thoughts from your m-i-l

      • What do you mean “as usual?” You’re a very well spoken young man and speaking about your journey and/or your sturggles with various aspects of it, are valued. I also struggle with some of the long-held beliefs and practices that I have. It’s all a work in progress, hopefully with the next step just a little more mature or fuller or exciting than the last. That’s not to say that we are always moving forward, sometimes we find ourselves in a place I call “going under water for the third time.” I had one of those after my mother died and it lasted several years. Finally I realized that if I didn’t at least take a little step in some direction I’d stay where I was and that wasn’t a good place.

  3. Remembering can be the more intentional part of worship; we gather with the purpose of remembering God who creates, God who saves through Jesus the Christ, and God who sustains us daily.

    But remembering isn’t enough; remembering must somehow make an impact on us; we must respond. True worship isn’t something planned…though planning can provide the opportunity. Worship happens when a response wells up inside of us because we realize some great turth about God…we experience an epiphany Something dawns upon us or touches the core of our being, or we are overwhelmed by a sense of God’s love and grace for us so that there is nothing to do but let the joy and thanksgiving pour out whether it comes through song or music, acts of forgiveness or loving kindness toward others.

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