The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6
In the new C.S. Lewis Upper School Library, we have a beautiful stone fireplace. Seeing it go up has put me in mind of the story of Joshua, leader of the Israelites, who crosses the Jordan on his way to claim the Promised Land. The Lord told him to have a representative from each of the twelve tribes choose a rock to bring to the other side as a memorial.
Joshua spoke to the children of Israel, saying; ”When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ “then you shall let your children know, saying, Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; “for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God”
The stones were gathered to tell the story. The story of God’s faithfulness; His unfailing, never-leaving, all-encompassing love for His people. That in this new chapter for the Israelites that God would continue to pursue, to call them to Him. That He would not drop them off on the banks of the Jordan and leave the rest to them. That whatever had been accomplished or was to come would be by Him, not by them. The Lord knew that there would be a moment when it dawned on the Israelites that having been delivered from a 40 year perambulation through the desert... now what?
For it is only in those moments of trial and great frustration that we get to experience the hand of God and our need for Him to come to the rescue. It is one of the biggest puzzlements of the Christian faith. What we think of as blessing --no problems, no discomfort, easiness-- is really the desire not to need Him, to resist leaning on Him, to be insulated from our need for Him and the emptiness we feel apart from Him. But ease is not where the Lord meets us. It is in the deserts, the floods, the hard relationships that the Lord shows up and shows Himself strong. He is coming for our hearts.
As we inhabit and use our new library, my prayer for the St. Paul community is to allow the stones and bones of these new buildings to spur us on to approve the things that are excellent and to meditate on the things of God. It will not do for us to rest in the comfort and beauty of these spaces. We are eager to get about the business of telling the story, God’s story, in our new spaces. Where the Christian life is fully explored and enjoyed in all of the Fine Arts. We have been given a lovely inheritance and we are eager to settle back into the mission of educating children and reminding them of their rich inheritance from the Lord. Please come by and visit our new C.S. Lewis Upper and Lower School Libraries and see for yourself our “story-telling” stones.