Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law–the blessings and the curses–just as it is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them. – Joshua 8:34-35 (NIV)
This scene will be repeated a number of times through the story of the Israelites. An assembly gathered to hear the words of God read aloud, reminding them of their history, their purpose and their future. This practice reminded them of who they belonged to and what defined their thoughts, words and deeds. It was a discipline of remembering.
Children can be short-sighted and forgetful. Practicing a discipline of remembering with them helps them overcome the shortcomings of our disposable society. We have increased our information, but decreased our recollection. The Israelites didn’t have thumb drives, kindles and the World Wide Web. They had their ears and minds and a growing appreciation of where God had brought them from and where He was taking them. Our kids need to have a sense of history if they are going to have the courage to face their future.
Spend time going over all that God has done in the life of your family. Create time for your family to sift through the calendar and remember the triumphs and trials you faced together with God. Encourage your children to keep journals and keep on yourself. Become a family with a history and a vision for the future.
Lord, help us be a people who remember. Gives us ears to hear and eyes to see where you brought us from and where you are taking us. Lead us to moments of recollection and renovation through Your Holy Spirit. Amen.