Posted May 14 | Blair Waddell
Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. 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 before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever." (Josh 4:4-7 (ESV))
It is good when significant moments occur in life to instill a moment of remembrance. The scriptures record many of these moments when Israel constructed altars and memorial stones in order to dedicate a moment to the Lord and provide opportunity for covenant renewal. An example can be seen in the example above when Joshua led the twelve tribes across the Jordan River into the promised land. The water flow of the river had stopped in order for all of the people to walk upon the miraculously dry river bed. It was a similar event to the crossing of the Red Sea demonstrating that God was still with the nation. It was significant enough that Joshua felt a monument should be constructed. Other examples of these memorials can be found in Gen. 33:20, 35:7 and Exodus 17:15 (and a host of other places). Each of these instances in which God had intervened was noteworthy enough to provide public testimony of what the Lord had done.
This coming Sunday, we will be symbolically erecting memorial stones. At the conclusion of our service we will recognize the graduating class of 2013. There are some that would say it is inappropriate to honor human accomplishments in a worship service dedicated to God. I actually happen to be one of those that deeply believe the Sabbath service is for God alone. However, it is completely appropriate to give thanksgiving to God for how worked through our children and graduates to bring them to this moment. It is also appropriate to commit them unto the Lord as they follow God’s will for the next stage of their lives. That is the purpose for recognizing them in our service. There will be parties and other events to celebrate their accomplishments with families and friends. But can we, as their church family, take it one step further to make their graduation more meaningful? I think we can. On Sunday, May 19, 2013 our church can gather to declare that we recognize each of our graduates is a blessing from God. And we join together to commit ourselves to praying on their behalf as they seek to honor the Lord in the next stage of their lives. That is more important than any party. To that end, I am listing below those that have provided us their names for graduation and I ask you to begin praying now for the class of 2013.
Mary Katherine Atnip
Heather Gargis (December Graduate)