Skip to main content

Altars for the Future

Joshua 4:20-23
20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 

The Israelites had crossed a great river once before.  A generation before this was written the parents of those that were now crossing the Jordan River had crossed the Red Sea while the Egyptian army chased behind them.  They crossed safely, but the Egyptians were swallowed in the great sea.  After this act of God the people kept forgetting what God had done.  Instead they grumbled "We are tired, we are hungry, we are thirsty, why don't we go back to Egypt, we are going to DIE!".  Despite their grumbling God patiently provided for them and protected them as they wandered for 40 years. 

With all of their grumbling they failed to effectively pass on the story of God to the next generation.  Joshua, had been there though, so he led the people across the Jordan, knowing that God would hold the water from rushing towards them.

I did not grow up in church.  I never knew my parents were religious.  As a teenager I rode my bike to a church to see what it was all about.  I fell in love with God and eventually enrolled in seminary to become a pastor.  After completing school, sometime around my 5th year in ministry my father asked if I knew my mother had been enrolled in school to be a missionary when they met.  When I asked my mother about it, she asked if I knew that my father used to be a street preacher.  The world had gotten to both of them and they had fallen away from the church.  Like the Israelites they had failed to pass on the story of God to me. 

Also like the Israelites, God provided people to lead me through the deep waters, despite my parents shortcomings.  I want you to know that God will provide, no matter what.  The grace of God is not dependent on our feeble actions.  However, when I discovered my family history in ministry it added a richness to the calling that had not been there before. 

Our scripture today reminds us that it is important for us to create memorials to the work of God in our lives.  We want our children to ask questions like "What are all those rocks over there for?".  Those memorials will remind us, and our next generation, to keep talking about the work of God, even when the adrenaline rush of a God moment has passed.  Look around your home today.  What memorials, reminders, or altars do you have that will create a conversation for the next generation?

Prayer: May God remind you every day of the God story lived out in your life.  May your eyes and heart be open to see and share that story.  May you avoid the worldly trap of grumbling, so that you may be filled with joy and grace!


Popular posts from this blog

Divine | Shame | Humans

Shame is often the only thing between our creator and us. Our reading this week is from Job 14:5-6: A person’s days are determined;      you have decreed the number of his months      and have set limits he cannot exceed. So look away from him and let him alone,      till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. Job is struggling with shame and judgement.  He is wondering why God is spending time paying attention to him, a tiny speck in the great universe, a blink of an eye in all eternity.  Why would God waste time casting a glance at us, let alone fostering us, raising us, and disciplining us?  He cries out "Why won't God just let us be, to live out our miserable existence?" A friend shared a post with me on Facebook this week.  It was a video of her dog who had stolen her donut.  The dog had been under the bed for two hours before she started the video.  The video begins with a clear view of the dog and the uneaten donut under the bed.  The dog casts glances from s

Justice & Privilege

The narrative lectionary reading for this week begins a 5 week series on the book of Job.  We focus on Job 1:1-12.  This first section sets the background for the parable.  It is important to note that this is clearly a parable, not a historical text.  This means we must look beyond the described events and towards a deeper meaning within the text.   The story goes like this: ___ There was once a man who thought he was good, an upright citizen, a religiously devout man.  He made good choices and avoided all forms of evil.  He was so pious that he made sacrifices in the name of his family members in case they had unknowingly sinned.  He had great wealth and privilege, and so this was evidence of his goodness.   God was so pleased with this great man, named Job, that he bragged about him to the accuser.  The accuser objected "Of course Job is good, you have provided him with wealth, power, and protection. He would curse you if he was not so privileged."  At this, God takes the

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t