Stones of Memorial

Stones of Memorial

Some time ago, I watched a funeral of an elderly lady over the internet.  This is the fourth funeral I have watched in the last few years.  These were people I have seen and heard all my life, yet I have never shaken their hand, spoken to them, or even been introduced.  She was not just any old lady; he was not just another sickly old man.  They were men and women of God who stood strong in the face of opposition, persevered and overcame.

My family is concerned about my fascination with these funerals.   It doesn’t make sense why I would devote an afternoon to hear people eulogize someone I have never met.  I asked myself. Why?  It came to me that it isn’t a fascination with death or a nostalgic desire to reacquaint myself with people from my younger days.  It is the legacy they leave behind.  Now that I am over 50 years old, I am more concerned with my own legacy.  Have I passed on to my children the heritage that was passed down to me?  Will my grandchildren know about the blessings our family has experienced?  Have I been a testimony to them?  Do they have the confidence and faith in God to stand strong no matter the opposition?

In Washington DC, large cities and small towns, there are statues, walls, and monuments erected in honor of great leaders, fallen soldiers and other heroes.  These are not set up just to attract tourists or decorate a town square but they are Memorial Stones.  The hope is that a legacy will be preserved and the future generations will stand before the memorial to hear the stories of incredible bravery and endurance. The goal is that those who pause will not only stand with a sense of pride in their country but be motivated to continue the legacy.

Joshua 4:20-24 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 21 And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, when your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what meaneth these stones? 22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God forever.

Joshua understood the importance of setting up memorials and passing the details of God’s miraculous deeds to the next generation and the next and the next. Although Joshua was one of the great leaders named in Israel’s history, he was not concerned with his own legacy or making sure his name was preserved in the annals of history.  Joshua understood that he was but a vessel used by God to fulfill His great plan.  Joshua had a memorial set up comprised of the stones taken out of the middle of the Jordan River.  His plan was that the memorial would be visited, the story would be repeated and each generation would “know the hand of the Lord and fear the Lord forever.”

 As I watch the funerals of a generation of Godly men and women that is rapidly fading, I am concerned that the legacy of the stones will fade with them.  Has my generation preserved and passed down the testimony to our children?  Will the new generation, our grandchildren even notice the stones and ask to hear the stories of God’s greatness?  As God works in your life, praise Him to your children, write it down for your grandchildren.  Have a “Praise The Lord” night at your house as you answer the question “What meaneth these stones.”

About the author

Susan Niswonger

I am a Home Missions Pastor's wife. I have been married to the most wonderful, Godly man in the world for 33 years. We have 2 sons, 2 grandson and 3 granddaughters. 42 years ago, at the age of 9, I was baptized in Jesus Name and received the Holy Ghost. It gets better every day.


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