Summary: There is specific memorial I draw your attention to found in the text that was established for the purpose of remembering the God who facilitated their deliverance to the promise land.
A DRIVE BACK DOWN MEMORY LANE
Scripture Reference: Joshua 4:1 – 9; 19 –24
Webster’s defines memorial as…
1. Anything intended to preserve the memory of a person or event; something, which serves to keep something else in remembrance; a monument. –Macaulay
2. Something, such as a monument or holiday, intended to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or an event.
Just look around and it won’t be hard to see symbols meant to commemorate memories. Have you ever seen crosses on the side roads and interstates? A memorial. Have you ever seen the large statue of Lincoln in DC? A memorial. Have you ever visited the Vietnam wall? A memorial. What about those roadside makers? One read like this:
Carroll’s Methodist Church
Instituted in 1797, this church was named for the William Carroll family, among its first members. The present building, erected about 1835, was restored in 1951-52 under the leadership of Bishop John H. Baker. Rev. Nelson Osborn (1797-1873) was a life-long member and minister for many years. The renowned Bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his diary: "Friday, Nov. 21, 1799, we drove 16 miles to Carroll’s Meeting House, a New Log Cabin in the Woods. Some of the People of the Congregation are from the East and West Parts of Maryland. I felt the Lord was with them. We have the Kitchen, House and Chamber all in one and no closet but the woods". Marker is 2.5 miles northwest (air line) of Canon.- A MEMORIAL
In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi after decorating graves of her two sons who served during the Civil War as Confederate soldiers, an elderly woman also decorated two mounds at the corner of the cemetery capturing the spirit of what a memorial meant. An observer asked, "What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union soldiers."
The reply, "I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours." That little band of ladies set in motion what became Memorial Day. Memorial Day is set aside each year to remember those who gave their lives in the armed forces.
We remember those who died on far away battlefields to bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples. We commemorate their actions by honoring them in ceremonies across the land. It is sometimes called Decoration Day because people decorate the graves of fallen heroes with flags and flowers.
A life was given so a life could live. Men and women who fell to their death so that we can stand up to our life. Uniforms displayed with pride, so that freedom can be worn proud.
We are addressing Memorial Day, not just an extension into a three-day weekend; Memorial Day, not just an opportunity to break out the grill and eat. Memorial Day, not just an opportunity to forget, but an opportunity to remember.
In a sense this weekend is inviting us to travel back down a road of memories. We are invited to take a drive back down memory lane. Let’s take time to remember men and women who gave their life, but also a God who blessed our lives.
A memorial helps us keep a memory of something significant that has happened alive in our hearts and minds. In a Biblical sense a memorial is a sacrifice, a monument or an event that brings us into remembrance of something that God has done. God knew we would have a tendency to forget, that often times we suffer from spiritual amnesia or Alzheimer. That’s we have memorials.
The word memorial in Scripture comes from a word that means to prick, to pierce, or to penetrate the memory. All throughout the Bible God has ordained that there would be memorials. Remember the rainbow, the stone tablets with the commandments written on them, the jar of manna kept in the ark, circumcision, communion, baptism, the cross are meant to remind us that God has been at work in our lives.
There is specific memorial I draw your attention to found in the text that was established for the purpose of remembering the God who facilitated their deliverance to the promise land.
At this moment they were told to reach into the Jordan River where the Priest were standing and pull out stones.
There were to be twelve stones representing each tribe of Israel.
There were to be twelve stones representing a rite of passage.
There were to be twelve stones representing the sacred and the divine.
There were to be twelve stones representing a transition from wandering to a position of stability.
There were to be twelve stones representing a memorial to God not a memorial to man.
Stones of evidence that something happen there.
Stones of evidence that at this spot God was here.