In 1 Chronicles 16:8-22 we discover that we sing to remember. Our songs should bring to our mind what the Lord has done. Remembering suggests mindfulness. There is a level of awareness that is involved in remembering. Singing should not be a mindless activity where we sing a whole song without really thinking about what we are singing. We should be present in the moment. The energy that we put into a song often reveals if I am singing with my mind or just my mouth.
In singing, we remember God’s wonderful deeds (v.12). The Lord had done great things among the people. As such, our songs should reflect the extraordinary activity of God. God has done marvelous things. He has done some things worth remembering. Remembering His wonderful deeds reminds us of who God is and of who we are in relation to who He is.
In addition to remembering God’s wonderful deeds, we should remember His covenant (v.15-18). Our songs should remind us about the promises of God. Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham that through His seed, all nations would be blessed. Thank God for His covenant. When we remember His covenant, we can’t help but remember His promises. The promises make the covenant worth remembering. The promises are worth remembering because God is faithful to His promises.
Lastly, we remember our story (v.19-23). This song that was offered up to God talked about the history of the people of God and how God moved in the lives of His people. Notice that this song was not the song of an individual, it was a song of the people. So often in the church we lose sight of our collective story because we get so caught up in our own personal story. Our singing should have a community focus. It is not about my story, it is not about your story, it is about our story. Furthermore, our story is only relevant because of our God. Our story is only relevant because our story proclaims the good news of His salvation.