Stones of Remembrance


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We are reminded time and again that we are to create memories with our children. As Nazi holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom said, “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” 

Our God is into creating memories, too. After the miraculous crossing of the Jordan river, Joshua commanded 12 men from each tribe of Israel to take one stone each from the place where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood. 
[T]hat this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. … so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. (Joshua 4:6-7, 24. Emphasis added.) [1]
The memorial stones were not only for those who crossed the Jordan river at that time but also for the generations to come. It was an ancient “covenant ritual” to pile up stones to preserve “the memory of important events.” [2]

After the miraculous crossing of the Jordan river, Joshua commanded 12 men from each tribe of Israel to take one stone each from the place where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood. Image credit

So, what memories are we passing on to our children? I believe the best memories to pass on are the values we teach our children. At the start of our anniversary month, we started a series on “Pass It On!” Through the messages and the testimonies from select families from our church, we already saw that we need to teach our children to suffer well, to make the most of their lives, and to make wise decisions., Today, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary as a church, we will talk about teaching our children how to live grace-filled lives. 

And how do we make sure we preserve those memories? Like piling up stones, not only that we talk about those values to them, we have to “walk” or model it to them also. We teach it through our words and our works. 
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Emphasis added.)
We cannot impart what we do not have. First, we parents are to love the Lord and to have His commands in our hearts. Then, we are to teach it to our children. Just like the memorial stones, our lives will be concrete reminders of loving God and obeying His commands.  

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Thus, as we celebrate our anniversary, we will also launch our vision as a church: “Making 120 Families Christ Centered Followers and Planting 2 Daughter Churches by the year 2020.” Let me clarify. It’s not a numbers game. Those numbers are there for our accountability. It’s our way to measure our progress and to know whether we have achieved it or not. What’s important is that we focus on reaching out to families, not just individuals, and that we all end up Christ centered followers. 

One key to achieve that vision is that each household in our church would make time to have their devotions not just individually but as a family. As we pursue this vision, you would notice that, other than the personal devotional articles in our bulletin, we will be adding discussion guides to help parents facilitate the family devotion. We will also be training you how to do it in the near future. Fear not! It’s not leading a Bible study per se. As a family, we will talk about how to apply the lessons we are learning from the Word of God together.

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Brothers and sisters, let us create memories with and for our children and our children’s children.

NOTE: This was my letter to our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, during our anniversary Sunday last April 26, 2015.

[1] All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.

[2] Thomas L. Constable, “Notes on Joshua 2015 Edition,” Sonic Light, retrieved from http://soniclight.com/. 

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