Early in C. S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, when Aslan gives Jill Pole the quest of rescuing Prince Rilian of Narnia, he also gives Jill four signs by which she might fulfill the quest. Before sending her to Narnia, though, Aslan warns Jill.
Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances.—C. S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
Like Jill in Narnia, members of Christ’s Church must carry out our vocations in a world whose air is thick and often confuses the mind. In this we have forerunners—the prophets and apostles—who left us God-inspired written testimony about carrying out the mission of God in the world. Holy Scripture is sufficiently capacious to contain “signs” not only for one quest as discrete as Jill’s, but for the full range of vocations given to all “good stewards of God’s varied grace.” But like the signs Jill received from Aslan, the signs of Scripture may not look as we expect when we meet them in the world. Thus the importance of knowing them by heart.
One way the task of learning Scripture by heart can be made easier is by setting its God-breathed words to music: rhythm and melody aid memorization and turn drudgery to delight. The delight is doubled and trebled when we sing the words of Scripture with others—either in a congregation or the “little church” of a household.
Remember and Proclaim takes ten brief and well-chosen passages of Scripture and makes them singable, danceable (for my sixteen-month-old daughter), and memorable.David Mitchel
This is where the work of the Corner Room is invaluable. For several years, this fine group of musicians, based at Cahaba Park Church and led by its minister of music Adam Wright, has set Scripture to song. Their latest project, Remember and Proclaim, was written particularly for children. But these Scripture-songs are excellent for family worship. If the musical styles represented on the album are eclectic—ranging from bluegrass to early–1960s pop—the beauty of the melodies and tastefulness of the accompaniment make the tracks go together. Remember and Proclaim takes ten brief and well-chosen passages of Scripture and makes them singable, danceable (for my sixteen-month-old daughter), and memorable.
After opening with an invigorating jolt of praise (Psalm 106), Remember and Proclaim touches a handful of key Scriptural “signs,” the remembrance of which is essential to the vocation of any saint—young or old—in the world. The first sign is Story: the faithful promises of Christ’s first Advent (Isaiah 9:6–7, Zechariah 9) and his second (Revelation 22). The second sign is Identity: that we are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and being made new in him (2 Corinthians 5:17). The third sign is Faithfulness: that we embody faithfulness by fortitude and resolution in facing trials (1 John 3:5, James 1:2–5). And the fourth sign is Assurance: that God faithfully holds and steadies us even in trying times (Isaiah 41:10, Romans 8:38–39).
The Corner Room has served Christ’s Church well by setting these Scripture-signs in memorable Scripture-songs. Remember and Proclaim should nourish the homes where God’s people grow, and prepare them for their parts in the great vocation of Christ in the world.
Remember and Proclaim releases tomorrow. Click here to learn more about it at The Corner Room’s website.
David Mitchel is a small-town lawyer who has represented clients in a broad spectrum of causes, ranging from business transactions to property disputes to the defense of criminal charges to federal habeas corpus and Civil Rights actions. His passion for literature and story, which he caught first from Tolkien, informs all of this work—which requires patient, careful adjudication of competing stories and creativity to help clients and courts write the rest of the story justly and wisely. David was born and raised near Baltimore, Maryland, went to law school at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and now lives in central Virginia. When he’s not practicing his profession, David is usually on stage, or playing a stringed instrument, or reading, or writing.