What do you remember? What “traditions” or practices do you remember from your childhood? What did that teach you?
Over the years, the church universal developed many practices to teach the faith to its people. It often had a hard journey, as it had to teach people from varying walks of life to be one with each other. It often had to surmount the lack of general education for centuries.
Many of these practices are no longer used. Many have lost the intent, and even the instruction that went with them. They became empty words. Valuable Truth was lost because people failed to teach well.
As we each go to church, whether online or in person, or whether we only listen to sermons or we add life groups, we each have a responsibility to learn and to teach. Often, we look to experts to train us. However, the experts are, well, experts. Experts often get lost in their expertise and then they can no longer translate their expertise to the non-expert.
In many respects, from a personal perspective, that may be part of the current state of the church. Perhaps we have left too much to the experts and not sharpened ourselves.
Of course, there is danger in such freedom. There is a balance of some sort between expert and non. We may well be in a place and time where we need to discover together what that balance is.
The passages from Joshua are just 2 passages where something was done to teach. The first was the pile of stones from the middle of the Jordan river. Yes, 12 stones pulled from the bottom of spring flood raging river. This pile of stones became a physical place of teaching.
“Look at that river! God made it so our ancestors could cross it on dry land.” Imagine a young child overcome with the vision of the waters being told the story of the stones while seeing that river. That would certainly be formative. This is the kind of thing ideal in the informal settings of Life Groups.
The second passage is Joshua repeating the Law that they had been given. It was a reminder of who they were. The Law wasn’t just rules and regulations, it was their identity. In many respects, this is the more formal aspect of preaching and Sunday School.
The question that we each need to ask ourselves: is our faith important enough to us to learn?