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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: The Sweet Refrain of Life
By Alicia Renkema


I can still hear the echo from the refrain of this triumphant Christmas carol, "Joy to the World," "Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy…" Why do so many of the carols and the old hymns that we dearly love to sing repeat their refrains over and over again?

I believe that God designed music to be that way because that is how He designed much of life. We need to be continually reminded of the joy; of His love and compassion. 

The seasons, take their turn flowing one into another, and yet they are back again the following year.

The moon goes through eight phases every month, only to repeat itself again and yet again.

The tides of the ocean take their cues from the moon; and while there are many different kinds of tides, they repeat with the cycle of the moon.

God has set things up in life so that we will remember, remember Him and remember one another. That is why I believe we have birthday's, (personal birthday's as well as the birthday of our great nation) anniversaries, and holidays--so that we will always remember the significance of what has been given to us.

It started with all of those memorials of long ago that God gave the Israelites, so that they too would remember. These memorials were not just an everlasting promise for the Jewish people though, but to us Gentile believers as well. In Romans 2:28 -29, God explains that true circumcision is of the heart... We all share in the promises of the Abrahamic covenant when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Will we listen to the Lord Jesus personally, calling each one of us, so that we can eternally share Life's joys with Him?

Galations 3:14-18, as well as verses 28 and 29 of the same chapter, speak to the fact that the Abrahamic Covenant is eternal, and one that was created for both Jew and Gentile to share in, in remembrance of Him.

Sadly, most if not all, of these memorials that God gave the Jewish people to remember,(and the rest of us as well), aren't observed by most Christians today.

There is so much richness to behold, like the unleavened bread with which Passover is celebrated. It signifies His death by the holes embedded into its very tapestry. This is a picture of our Lord's piercings. While in between the holes on the matzo, there are the stripes, by which we are reminded of the beatings He endured for our sake. God iniates these special feast days like Passover; Hanukkah; and the feast of Purim.

Purim is a very special feast day that commemorates how God spared the lives of the Israelites in the book of Esther. An edict had been signed by the king due to the trickery of his right hand man, Haman, who wanted to see the Jews annihilated. This has been happening ever since the days of King Herod...

It is especially important to remember that He never revoked their remembrance. He desires us to partake in these celebrations, to remember His love for us all, displayed by these wondrous miracles. He wants us to remember for His glory; His divine grace, His love, and compassion.

Picture life without birthdays to celebrate, no Christmases or Valentine's Days, never an anniversary to toast, or the colorful sparks of the 4th of July to be exhilarated by. Most importantly though, we'd have no Resurrection Day to remember the joys we've been given as believers.

Every time we relive a memory, we are choosing to remember. How much better it is for us to renew our minds, and not repeat the drudgery of the past by thinking on,"…Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…" as we're encouraged to do in Philippians 4:8. Let us all repeat His sounding joy!

Author's note: The Holman Christian Standard Bible was my text for all scripture references. The song "Joy to the World" which contains the refrain "Repeat the sounding joy…" Lyrics by: Isaac Watts
Melody by: Lowell Mason

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This article has been read 450 times
Member Comments
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C D Swanson 02/02/13
A job well done in this entry. I love the important messages and the way it was presented. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/03/13
I think you did a great job of writing on the topic but still keeping it fresh and interesting. There were many things I learned about when I read this. I also think that the Bible verses you selected were a good match. Nicely done.
lynn gipson 02/05/13
Very well done. Your writing is excellent in this piece reminding me of God's purpose for repetitions, just as His love for us is never ending.

Thanks for the powerful message and food for thought in this wonderful article.

Very good indeed.
Cheryl Harrison02/05/13
Another song popped into my head, this one directly from Scripture... "Rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice!"

I loved the title and your writing. Good job!
Danielle King 02/05/13
I learned a lot from you that I didn't know before. And I thought your final paragraph was a good, neat way to sum up. Well done.
Glynis Becker02/05/13
Fantastic devotional. Right on topic and an enjoyable read. Thank you so much for stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing this with us!
Allison Egley 02/05/13
There are some great reminders here. I love it.

This is a bit wordy in places. You could condense some things to make them more concise. That way things flow a bit better. For example: I can still hear the echo from the refrain of this triumphant Christmas carol, "Joy to the World," "Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy…" Why do so many of the carols and the old hymns that we dearly love to sing repeat their refrains over and over again?

Could be reworded a bit... something like this: "Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!" I can still her the echos of "Joy to the World." So many of the old hymns and carols repeat the refrain. Why is that?"

Or something like that. :)

Nice job, for being something out of your genre and a bit of an experiment! I like it.
Loren T. Lowery02/06/13
"Amen" and again we say "Amen" What a wonderful way to treat this subject...repeated reminders of God's love. And, that He repeats it over and over and over again is surely a sign of the ever abiding love for us. Great job.
Bea Edwards 02/06/13
You gave us an inspiring history lesson full of vivid images to guide us into remembrance and encourage us to celebrate not only the occasions but God's goodness displayed through them.
Well done!
Myrna Noyes02/06/13
God created a repeating rhythm to our lives from the very beginning when He set aside the Sabbath each week as a holy space of time, and when He made night follow day over and over. You remind us of these things in nature as well as of the celebrations we regularly enjoy. Your article was informative, instructive, and interesting. Good job! :)
Michelle Knoll 02/07/13
This is a beautiful article. I love your description of the matzo's symbolism, and your discussion of the feasts established in God's Word. You did a great job with this topic!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 7th in level two! Happy Dance!!
Beth LaBuff 04/25/13
You have beautifully referenced how God has used repetition in nature, and set up those Ebenezer stones to remind us. I love all the pictures of Christ in the Passover you mention. I've been studying these "Feasts of the Lord" that the Israelites were commanded to celebrated, but they are for us too. They are God's appointed times and hold His plan for the world. It's all there! Amazing. "Repeat the sounding joy, indeed!" Thank you!