Remember, Do Not Forget
Taylor Swift has made history yet again as her ballad “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” became the longest song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In addition to extended listening time, the uncut release has also undergone altered significance since its original 2012 debut. “It has a story that is so sacred to me because … it was my favorite song on the [Red] record,” the singer-songwriter shared in an interview. “And what was so crazy is that when it went out into the world, the fans just among themselves decided it was their favorite too.”
Although the story told by the lyrics was once about her ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, the ballad is now an anthem for her fans and represents the special bond that they and Swift share. “For me, this song has turned into a story of what the fans did for [it] really.”
The Biblical story of redemption is another that has undergone changes in significance as it transitioned from oral history to a plethora of symbols representing the unbreakable bond between Creator and the created.
After the Flood, God made the rainbow a symbol of grace and love that Noah and descendants were not to forget. But humanity continued to sin. Then, throughout Israel’s wandering in the wilderness and even after they settled in the Promised Land, they were repeatedly reminded of how God rescued them from slavery in Egypt. But again, humanity did not pursue God’s love and instead fell flat.
Finally, Christ died and rose again on our behalf, conquering the bonds of slavery to sin, and giving new meaning to the redemption arc. Therefore, Paul directs us to remember the sacrifice on the cross, and how without it that Jews and Gentiles alike would be lost.
While we can look at each story in the Bible as just that, a story, the overarching theme helps reveal God’s character, as well as helps us remember it and to appreciate our connection with our Creator.
- They are living in some form of sin
- To keep them from believing their successes are a result of their own hands
- God is using them as a sign to others, such as how was done with Hosea
- Tribulations are a natural function of the world and help us grow
- God doesn’t exist/doesn’t interact with humanity
Applying: It’s easy for symbols to take on new meanings over time. For example, the cross has become a fashion symbol, and Isis idols were repurposed as Mother Mary statues. Brainstorm on how you can retain or get back to the true meanings of Biblical symbology, intended to help you remember God’s wonders, without confusing and diluting them with cultural norms of the day.