Words that the Walls of St. Mary’s have Heard

Stewardship Reflection, Friday, October 15

By: Harrison Higgins, Deacon Associate

There are two passages about rocks in the book of Joshua that I think are wonderful. In the first, chapter 4, twelve stones are taken out of the Jordan River where the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stood as the waters were backed up and the Israelites crossed over into the promised land. They were made into an altar and Joshua said, “when your children ask you in time to come, ’What do these stones mean?’ then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” (4:5,6)

The second passage is in chapter 24 when Joshua establishes a covenant between the Israelites and God and sets up a stone saying, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us for it has heard all of the words of the Lord which he has spoken to us.”

I love these images of stones hearing words spoken and rocks having meaning: meaning that persists through generations, words that hold us to promises made and keep us in times of trouble. Think of the words that the walls of St. Mary’s have heard, the ones we have spoken and the ones that have been spoken to us:

Most merciful God, we confess… Almighty God have mercy on you and forgive you all your sins…
Do you believe in God the Father? I believe in God the Father almighty…
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons… I will with God’s help.
Will you have this man/woman to be your wife/husband… I will.
Into your hands, O Merciful Savior, we commend your servant.. a lamb of your flock, a sinner of your redeeming…

These are just a few of the words that have guided and strengthened and held me. And they are attached to place – to walls and altars and windows and pews and altar rails – where God has met and fed and saved me. These buildings are vessels that hold something important; they are our anchors during the storms of this life, the beacons when we are in the dark, and a home with a family when we are alone.

Church is not always an easy place to love (neither am I) but I would be lost without it. Let’s take care of it and each other. Thank you for welcoming me into your lives.