Friday 03 September 2021

Bible Book:

'These stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.' (v. 7)

Joshua 4:1-5:1 Friday 3 September 2021

Psalm 57:1-3, 7-11


The erection and tearing down of monuments have become highly charged issues – not least in relation to 'Black Lives Matter'. I wonder how the Canaanites felt about the memorials the Israelites built both on the riverbank and in the middle of the Jordan?

I imagine that most of us have brought home a stone or a shell, or purchased a souvenir to help us remember a holiday and tell our story. Marking out significant places is also important. I have been deeply moved when standing amongst stones that were once a home or place of worship and I currently have pastoral charge of a medieval stone church with a burial ground full of gravestones. I often think of Jesus' words on Palm Sunday when the Pharisees wanted his disciples to stop their hosannas. Jesus said: “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out." (Luke 19:40)

Joshua told the people to create a memorial of stones so they could tell their children about how they crossed over the River Jordan. The memorial was both to prompt and answer the question: “What do these stones mean to you?” (Joshua 4:6)

The 12 stones – representing the 12 tribes of Israel – made this a very inclusive memorial. I expect that each tribe was able to point to their own stone and remember that they were part of this story and community.


To Ponder:

  • What souvenirs do you have in your home? What part of your story do they help you to remember?
  • Thinking about your church building, your home, or a local monument – how would you answer the question “What do these stones mean to you?” 

Let us hold today in our prayers those who feel that their story is not being heard or remembered.


Previous Page Thursday 02 September 2021
Next Page Saturday 04 September 2021