S (Scripture): Joshua 4:4 Joshua called for the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one man per tribe. 5 Joshua said to them, “Cross over into the middle of the Jordan, up to the Lord your God’s chest. Each of you, lift up a stone on his shoulder to match the number of the tribes of the Israelites. 6 This will be a symbol among you. In the future your children may ask, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you will tell them that the water of the Jordan was cut off before the Lord’s covenant chest. When it crossed over the Jordan, the water of the Jordan was cut off. These stones will be an enduring memorial for the Israelites.”
O (Observation): As God’s people pass through he place where the Jordan River has been pooled up to allow God’s people to cross, Joshua commands one person per tribe to grab a stone from the middle of the river bed. These stones would become a memorial at Gilgal. The children will ask what the stones mean, and the families will share the story of God guiding them across (or through) the Jordan River!
A (Application): Memorials are great for sharing significant markers in the life of a people or family. In my family, this usually takes the form of pictures. We use Google Photos to back up our photos, helping us to hang on to special moments in our lives.
When I was in 6th grade, my family moved from New Jersey to Georgia. I made myself a time capsule. I was supposed to wait for 10 years or something like that to open it. It was a good reminder of where I was in life and helped me to see how I’ve progressed and changed.
What are you doing to mark important moments? My wife made a wonderful collage of pictures in the shape of a heart for our 15th wedding anniversary. I got her a “40 reasons we love Kelly” poster for her 40th Birthday. Things like this remind us of specific moments in our lives.
Spiritually, I wonder how well we do this. Baptism and Confirmation certificates. A baptismal candle. Pictures. Maybe we can take time to capture these moments. To put up a “stack of stones” to help remind us to tell the story of how God was and is at work in our lives.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to tell the story of your action in our lives. Amen.