It was a country song pining the words,

“…the song remembers when”.

music-and-memory-1The premise of the song is right on: we might not think about something on an active basis, but let “that song” come on the radio (or in a movie) and—BAM!—the memories flood our minds and hearts in a torrent of emotion and memories.


Do you have songs that take you back?


For me, one of those songs is “Groovy Kind of Love”.  Not because of a girl, but because it takes me back to high school and we played that song in marching band.  It doesn’t matter what context I hear it in, when “Groovy Kind of Love” comes on, I can smell the grass, hear the instrumental parts, and for a second—just an instant—I’m back in high school (full disclosure: I loved high school!).


Do you know the Lord designed music to do this to us?  We respond to music in a very particular way that almost defies logic and understanding.  As a Christian, there are certain songs that remind me of certain high and low points in my life.  Some songs brought me great courage while others remind me of great sorrow and the Lord’s faithfulness.


Even today, I can’t hear the song “Oceans” without feeling a swell of faith in my soul for the process of starting The Purpose Community Church.


No wonder, the Psalms have so many references to music and singing.


As we finish the third volume of the Psalms (there are five volumes in all), we start on Psalm 89 with verses one and two:


I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.


This song (most of the Psalms were sung in ancient Israel) declares the Lord faithfulness.  In Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, the word “faithfulness” conveys a sense of steadfastness, trustworthiness, and stability.  His love is so great because He is steady, trustworthy, and stable.  His love is constant, just as He is constant.


And the song of His faithfulness needs to be sung by one generation of Christians to the next.  As we live our lives resting on Him as our rock, our world sees this and notices.  It’s not just that God is loving.  His love is stable.  It isn’t fickle.  It’s pure, righteous, and unending.


If songs have a memory, then this is one song needing to live in and through us: God’s great love, as ultimately demonstrated through the sending of His Son Jesus, is validation of the stability of His loyal love to us His children.


“The Song Remembers When” by Hugh Prestwood.  Recorded by Trisha Yearwood in 1993.