Memorable Memorials in the Midst

By: Brent Wakefield
“Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.” (Joshua 4:3 ESV)

What makes a memorial memorable?

First, a memorial is truly memorable when it is God-ordained. Amid moving an entire nation from one side of a river to another on dry land, God told Joshua to send men to gather stones. God initiated the thought, because He knew the importance of the moment.

Second, memorials mean more when they are created from something inside a miraculous moment. The rocks weren’t gathered from just anywhere. They weren’t taken from the edge of the river or even just from the riverbed itself. The rocks that made up the memorial at Gilgal were picked because the priests’ feet had stood firmly on those exact stones, holding the Ark of the Covenant (presence of God), the very thing that had made the moment possible.

Third, a memorable memorial is placed in a location that matters. Joshua instructed the men to stack the rocks where they lodged. It was large, it stood out, and it was placed right where they lived, day in and day out.

Finally, memorials are ultimately meant to provoke questions and lead to story-telling about our God’s mighty works. The rocks themselves wouldn’t communicate much to a casual observer, perhaps an Israelite child born well after the parting of the Jordan. But—it would certainly stoke their interest, lead to curiosity, and end with a father telling his son about what God did. These very rocks were once underwater but were exposed when God stopped the Jordan so that our people could cross over. All of us. Priests holding the Ark of the Covenant actually touched these stones. The presence of God hovered above this very pile of stones, and they are still here today, testifying to what God did for us.  

As we go through various trials and faith-making moments, and as we lead our families and the NEXT generation, let's ask God to give us memorials in the midst of memorable moments. When God prompts, don’t be afraid to bend over and pick up that rock, that stick, that leaf—whatever it may be— and keep it. Place it in your home such that it will create curiosity and lead to a story about what God did in your life.

Our kids desperately want to know that our faith is real, that we believe what the Bible says about our Creator, and that Jesus impacts our lives in very real ways. There’s nothing like a memorable memorial to get the conversation started.
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