Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered… Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!…- 2 Chronicles 16:8-36
How many of us, when we are singing our National Anthem (by the way, who can actually sing that song?!), how many of us have our minds soaring through the pages of American history? When we eloquently croon "O say can you see…", what does our mind’s eye see? Does it see the early struggles of a small colony called Jamestown? Does it see the larger-than-life visionaries and leaders such as William Bradford, George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.? Does it conjure up pictures of Revolutionary War, Constitutional debates, battles for civil rights, sacrifices for freedom? No, it probably does not. We’re lucky if we remember the right words and get close to hitting the high note.
It is one thing to sing our national anthem so casually and disconnected from the national history it celebrates. What is far more tragic is that many of us were guilty of doing the very same thing this past Lord’s Day. We sing, but we do not remember. Our mouths are open but our eyes are closed. As we sing songs of redemption, do our minds soar over the pages of redemptive history? When we sing "This is my story; this is my song…", where does our story begin? Who is the main character of our anthem? Are we merely singing to ourselves in a mirror?
The story of redemption starts with God and ends with God. It begins in a garden as God creates a people and a place to reflect His own glory. It ends in a garden city where God redeems a people and a place corrupted and scandalized by sin to once again reflect His own glory for all of eternity. Your story is Adam’s story, Abraham’s story, Peter’s story and my story. It is a story filled with the breathtaking images of a garden promise, a bloody exodus, a crucified messiah, an empty tomb and a coming kingdom. It is a song bursting with melodic sounds of undeserved love, sovereign grace, and covenant faithfulness. He is our God and we are His people.
The next time you find yourself singing, whether it be in the car on the way to work or with God’s people on the Lord’s Day, open your eyes wider than you open your mouth. There is a history to be celebrated and a future to be anticipated!
Who cares if you hit that high note…