Meanderings of a Minister


Stones of Remembrance

Stones of Remembrance

This last week, we celebrated, or remembered those that have died in defense of our freedom.  We have held services, parades, golf tournaments and had cookouts, dinners and a day off, but do you realize that Memorial Day is a regular part of the Bible?  In Joshua 4, God told Joshua to have one man from each of the 12 tribes carry a rock from the middle of the Jordan River all the way to Gilgal as a memorial of God’s activity.  Additionally, he had Joshua make a pile of stones in the middle of the parted Jordan that would only be visible when the water was low.  This would have made a periodic reminder of God’s mighty power on behalf of the people.  God gave the people instruction that they were to tell their children about God, His activity on their behalf and His sovereignty, when they asked because they had seen the rocks.

You and I have people that we need to be asking about God’s activity as well.  We need to be talking to our grandparents and great-grandparents and asking them about God’s activity in building this nation.  We need them to remind us about sacrifice because someone taught us that our nation owes us a living.  We need them to remind us about discipline because someone taught us everything should come from a microwave.  We need them to remind us about saving because someone taught us to rely on credit cards.  We need them to remind us of our responsibility because someone taught us that freedom should be free.  We need them to remind us about bread lines, tire stamps and collecting animal fat because someone taught us to throw everything away because there will always be more.  We need them to remind us about caring for extended family because someone taught us that nursing homes are for that.  We need them to remind us about coming together to be Americans because someone taught us that we can be Native Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Pacific Island Americans.  We need them to remind us about an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay because someone taught us to do as little as possible and demand as much as we can get.  We need them to remind us about customer service because someone taught us that customers are an interruption to our day.

As if that were not enough, we have also been taught that freedom of religion means freedom from religion.  We have been taught that the constitution does not really mean everyone is created equal.  We have been taught that government’s job is to redistribute money from the rich to the poor.  We have been taught that it is the state’s job to educate our children.  We have been taught that a promise is more of an intention.  We have been taught that a person’s character and job performance can be separated.  We have been taught that you can lie, cheat and steal and call it politics.  We have been taught that nothing is right or wrong just because it is right or wrong, but only if we have defined it as so.  We have been taught that children are disposable interruptions to our pursuit of the good life.  We have been taught that our heroes should be people famous for nothing other than being famous and that policemen and women, firemen and women, emergency medical service personnel, the National Guard and the Armed Forces are just doing what they ought to do, but a man or woman that can dunk a basketball, throw a perfect pass or hit a homerun are the ones that are worthy of our attention and praise.  Oh, how we need the reminder of those that are quickly passing.

We need them to remind us that we exist to serve God.  We have been taught that He exists to serve us.  We need them to remind us that God is oftentimes more concerned about our holiness than our temporal happiness.  We have been taught we ought to expect challenge-free, trouble-free, criticism-free lives.  We need them to remind us about sacrificial giving.  We have been taught that all the church wants is our money, so we ought to give it or withhold it based upon whether we agree with the type of music played or the preacher.  We need them to remind us that we come to church to serve God and others.  We have been taught we come to church to be coddled and catered to.  We need them to remind us that church is supposed to be about reaching the world with the gospel.  We have been taught it is about my personal comfort and tastes.

If there has ever been a time that we need the previous generation to remind us about God, it is now.  God, let us see the rocks and let us find those that know what they mean before we lose them or, worse, lose the freedom we enjoy.

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