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 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 4:6-7, NRSV
Since my first year at ECLC, I have a ritual of sorts that I practice before Graduate’s Sunday. I tread behind the church building, find a path through the thicket, and wade into the water of the Minnehaha Creek. The first year I practiced this, my wet sandals gave me a dumb grin, conjuring up memories of the boundary waters. It was the kind of smirk my mom would yell to “wipe off your face,” when she was trying to discipline me. I could’ve spoken stories as long as you’d want, 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 jolted 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, heartbreak, death, first kisses, first communion, Sunday School, getting grounded, family vacations, betrayal, illness, confirmation, Pilgrimages, and maybe even a driver’s license.
Just like my wet sandals bring 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, practicing my ritual for another year, 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 God to bring adventure and peace to your futures!
- J.D. Mechelke, High School Youth Minister