Twelve Stones of Remembrance

2019-03-31 – Year C – Lent 4 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Joshua 4:19-24, 5:1, 9-12; Psalm 34:1-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:11-32

  • What is it like to finally arrive after a long trip?

A Promise Fulfilled

  • The people of Israel were finally entering the land that was promised to Abraham and to Moses at the end of their 40-year journey in the wilderness.
  • A dramatic entry to the land by holding back the waters of Jericho so the people could cross on dry ground.
    • Imagine the waters of Black Creek being held back
  • A powerful testimony
    • To their enemies (Joshua 5:1)
    • Of the glory of the Lord (Joshua 4:24)

Twelve Stones of Remembrance

  • As they crossed the river bed, God told the people to gather twelve large stones from the river bed, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • These stones were for the sake of their children. That they might have a chance to know of the faithfulness and power of God. Joshua 4:21-22.
    • It is good for us to do something similar when God does remarkable things in our lives. God is still active, and we need to acknowledge him, thank him, and tell others.
  • The second best gift we can give our children and grandchildren is to tell them the stories of God, both from our own lives and from the history of God’s people.
    • Psalm 34:11 “Come, children, and listen to me.”
    • Faith in God is something that many of us desire for our children, but it doesn’t happen automatically. Faith has to be nurtured.
    • God’s plan for passing the faith from one generation to the next is parents surrounded by the people of God.
      • Ideally, children are first taught about God by their parents. Parents are the generally the greatest influence in a child’s life, for good or for ill!
      • The parents shouldn’t have to do this on their own, however. That is why God has given us Christian community in the form of the Church to teach us how to teach our children, as well as to provide an extended family of other people who can point your children to Jesus.
  • The best gift we can give our children is to introduce them to the Father.

Returning to the Father’s House

  • It is hard to introduce someone to a person you have never met yourself.
  • Imagine if the son in the Gospel lesson today had never returned home, but had stayed away, gotten married, and had children of his own.
    • Would his children know their grandfather? No.
  • Maybe you don’t have a relationship with the Father yourself. Maybe you didn’t even know that this was possible.
    • My own testimony, knowing about God vs. knowing God.
    • “Taste and see how gracious the LORD is; blessed is the one who trusts in him.” (Psalm 34:8).
  • God is waiting for you like the father in the story.
    • There is nowhere you can run that is too far to be able to come home.
  • God loves each one of you more than you could ever know. And he wants you to know the peace, safety, purpose, hope, comfort, and forgiveness that you can find in his arms.

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