Meditation written and read by Cathy Tamsberg.
On a Saturday last fall we celebrated my great nephew’s first birthday. The following Wednesday my brother’s family and I marked what would have been my mother’s 94th birthday, the first one since her death. The cycle of life moved swiftly in our family that week. In all families, we welcome one generation as we say goodbye to another.
The Hebrew Bible text for today recalls the story of Joshua’s leadership as the Israelites cross over the Jordan into the land God was giving them. (Joshua 4:14-24) Moses is dead and Joshua is the new leader. This tale recalls the historic crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites when they were fleeing the armies of Pharaoh. When this river crossing is complete, stones retrieved from the Jordan become a monument to God’s deliverance. When the monument of stones is erected, Joshua explains to the people, “When your children ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’, then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground’…so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty…” (vv.21-24)
In reflecting on this story, one Jewish writer suggested that history is only meaningful insofar as it is the common property of its heirs. If true, this means what we’ve learned about life has future significance beyond ourselves only if we share what we’ve learned with others. So when our children or other young people ask us, “What does Pullen mean? What does your faith mean? What does Easter mean?”, what will be our response? Today recall your personal or family stories of faith that need to be shared with the generations who are coming behind you. Then reflect on your personal answer to the question, “What does Easter mean to me?”
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.