Not Just History

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:47
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Our brains are wonderful.

Have you ever stopped to consider your brain? Despite what we believe it is true that all of us have one, including me.

We are able to remember many things.

Sometimes we can remember “useless” facts like, you are 2x more likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark; and “forget” the important stuff, like your anniversary.

We are really good at remembering the “bad”.

As one writer states, “our brains are velcro for the bad and teflon from the good.”

Memorials are important.

This is the role memorial plays in helping us to remember our past. We need to continue to create “memorials” in order to help tell the story of who we are, and who God is, to the next generation.

Scripture encourages us “to remember”.

As we interact with our passage this morning we see that God commanded Joshua to create a memorial for the nation of Israel at this critical point in their history.

We need to remember the good.

This “memorial” was and is not like what we typically think of. This memorial was not because of a tragedy or the response to some “evil” in the world. Let me be clear: I am NOT against memorials in response to evil and tragedy. They serve as important reminders of what we are capable and also are tools for healing; both necessary and important. However I believe we need “better” memorials which remind us of the good and as Christians remind us who God is and His mighty acts.

These stones were reminders of God’s character.

The nation, each time they walked past the memorial had the opportunity to remember who God is and how He interacts with His people. It is interesting to note that Gilgal, as it became known, served as an important area for the nation but another “pile of stones”; the city of Jericho, will fade into oblivion when God moves there.

The stones were a conversation starter.

There was to be no “greater marker” to indicate why the stones were there but instead it was to be something that anyone who really noticed would ask, “why are these stones the way they are?” “I wonder what happened to have someone ‘create’ this structure?”

The stones were not just a history lesson.

Sometimes we can use memorials as a way to not just remember the past but try to re-claim the past. We can use memorials to live in the past and keep our focus on what happened. Yet, when God instructs the nation, individually and as a whole, to erect the stones he was not interested in just providing an object lesson about history.

“Good” memorials proclaim hope.

These stones were meant to proclaim a hope for the future. The God who could have the nation walk through a flooded Jordan River on dry ground surely could do something else in the future. God is not just a god of the past but He is the God of the future, and also of the present.

Memorials help us anticipate the future.

This is what we need, hope and anticipation for what is yet to come.
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