When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: 2 “Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3 and command them, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. 5 Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:1-7, NRSV
Last week I got my sandals wet in the creek behind our church. It was the first time I had waded in water since the snow came last fall. Conjuring up memories of the Boundary Waters, my wet sandals gave me a dumb smirk. The kind of smirk my mom would yell to “wipe off your face,” when she was trying to discipline me. I could stop for hours reminiscing about the Boundary Waters. All it took was a current moving around my ankles.
It’s not uncommon to flashback to a different time when we are forced into noticing things we’d set aside. For the Israelites, it was the sight of stones that forced them into the recollection of God’s faithfulness. This Sunday we will be celebrating Graduate’s Sunday, the final Milestone of Children and Youth at ECLC. We need to let the sight of stones force us into recalling everything that has brought the seniors to this time: Baptism, best friends, sleepovers, birthdays, heart-break, death, first kisses, first communion, Sunday School, getting grounded, family vacations, betrayal, illness, confirmation, Pilgrimages, and drivers licenses.
Just like my wet sandals brought back memories for me, I hope for the seniors that this ending of seasons brings back memories too. While I was wading in the water I grabbed a stone. This Sunday it will be on our altar. May the sight of stones revive our memories of God’s faithfulness.
To our High School Graduates, we ask for God to bring adventure and peace to your futures!
~ J.D. Mechelke