Sermon, Nov. 1 2020    by Rev. June Fothergill All Saints Day  Communion        Joshua 3: 1-17, 4:1-7   It’s interesting to me to be hiking along in the wilderness or along a beach and encounter a pile of stones, obviously placed there deliberately. Sometimes there are just little towers, like someone has been goofing around. Other times they look like directions for someone coming up the trail. Other times they seem more like mysterious works of art like what we saw on a beach one time in Mexico.                 And sometimes they look like a memorial to something- although I am not always sure what.   So the idea of placing stones together to mark an important place or event is not new to us or to the Bible.  IN Genesis we saw Jacob raise up a stone to mark where he saw vision of God and learned of God’s promises to his family and himself.   We even often have grave stones to mark the death pf someone important to us.  So God telling Joshua to gather up some stones and make a memorial to the crossing of the River Jordan is not so unusual or strange.     Yet, as we gather today to think about All Saints Day and celebrate communion,  this story invites a deeper look.  .  It is a story about faith and its challenge and continuity.  It is a story about transitions and how communities adapt to change      God does not give Joshua a reason for his commandment that he get twelve men representing the 12 tribes to go to the place where the priests stood and take up stones and bring them across to the place where they will camp.  As I was thinking about this order from God, I realized that it would take great faith to make that journey.  They would have to trust that the waters would stay back, that they could do this extra crossing with out drowning in the river.   They  had been safe on the other side!    Their willingness to take the risk. Reminds us of the courage of faith. Faith is not just about believing certain things, it is acting upon trust and taking risks for the things that truly matter to us.  Crossing the Red sea with Moses a generation earlier had been such a step of faith, with the armies of Pharoah at their heels.  For the people of Joshua’s day, crossing the Jordan was also an act of faith. They now had the ark of the covenant with them, they had symbols  of their God and their wilderness forged faith.  Yet, they...

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