Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


For my grad class I'm reading through the book of Joshua. We have covered up to chapter 7 in a couple of weeks time. During our discussion on chapter 4, we focused on the 12 stone memorial that Joshua commands his people to set up in response to their miraculous crossing of the Jordan river. It was brought up that the memorial was to be used as a teaching tool for the future generations. "When your children ask their parents in time to come, 'What do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know, 'Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.'

After we discussed this, we turned our attention towards using memorials in our faith and churches as a way of inviting those into the story of God. Symbols were seen as an invitation to participate in the story, to act it out so to speak. I thought about how the only two symbols that I have seen in churches is either the Cross or the American flag. (Interesting how quick we can parade the flag in our churches but not our crosses) Actually I take that back. The Eucharist ("communion" in my heritage) is symbolic as well as participatory in the redemptive story. I wonder what other symbols people do that express their faith as well as invite others to participate or ask "What does that mean?"

I have an icon of Dorothy Day. I don't pray to Dorothy Day's spirit or whatever, but I have reflected on her life and her passion to love the unloveable. The verse on the Bible she is holding is Psalm 113:7-9:

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.