Why do we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other great achievements in our lives? Other than supporting the greeting card industry these times of celebration serve a purpose. They remind us of important events and times in our lives when something special and life changing took place. The hunter who hangs his/her trophy on the wall or the ball player who looks at his/her championship ring is reminded by their monument that something significant took place. As we look at that greeting card or trophy, those things have a way of taking us back to that moment that we said, “I do,” or helping us remember the feeling of excitement as we won the big game.
If we need these items to help us for our physical lives, how much more for our spiritual lives? This is the purpose of these 12 stones that are picked up and placed in the middle of this river. The stones representing the people of Israel were to be place there in the midst of the Jordan river to remind the people that if it were not for the Lord there they would remain. They would be a people without a land and without a future, hopelessly cut off from all the goodness of God. The same is true for us, Paul says in Ephesians 2:5 that God, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” When we look back on our salvation we should see that river, gulf, divide between us and the Lord that the Lord Jesus Himself bridged for us. Jesus stopped up the waters of our sins and God’s wrath so that we could pass safely to the His side and remain with Him for all eternity.
We are forgetful people though, so He has given us monuments to remind us who we were and what we have been given. When someone comes to faith in Christ, the very first action they are called to take is to follow the Lord in scriptural baptism. This baptism is a monument to the gift they are given through faith in Jesus. Over the years as the walk with Jesus they can look back at that moment and remember the way the Lord worked to save and redeem them from their sins. We celebrated the other monument the Lord has given us as a church family this past Sunday. We call it Communion, or The Lord’s Supper. This monument to our faith reminds us of the love that Christ has shown to us and the forgiveness we have been given in Him.
The Lord wants us to take time each day and remember what He has done for us. Through the study of His Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers. A big part of this is the weekly gathering for worship but also the day to day interaction we have with one another as we walk with the Lord.
Let us ask the Lord today for opportunities to point other believers to the monuments of our faith where the Lord God has set up reminders to who we were and what He has given us. Let’s thank the Lord for His unending mercies He has given.