Sitting in the parish house at early morning, noticing the pictures and furnishings … many of them are obviously from Bob’s family and his growing-up years. These are the little reminders of a happy past, of people and events that had significant positive impact in Bob’s life.

My thoughts turn to my own life, and the mementos of my growing-up years and those of Edye and our children … the joys of those times and events … and the sadness that so many of them had to be given up/given away/thrown away in the transition to our new life.

The good news is that the memories are not given away. We scan the photographs and digitize the recordings to preserve them … but even if all these are lost, the memories bring back scenes we saw, voices we heard, aromas we smelled, flavors we tasted, people we touched … and those who touched us.

These are the piles of stones – the pillars of remembrance – erected in our lives like those of the Israelites, so that when we are old we can look back and remember God’s rich provision in our lives … even if we have no earthly riches. We review them with our family, reminding our children of God’s faithfulness which they have seen firsthand, and which they can know for themselves.

That is covenant. They are automatically part of it. They do not have to choose it to receive it … but they can choose to walk away from it and not receive it.

We must remind them. We must show them the pillars of remembrance, and recall with them the bounty of God’s love and grace poured out to them. We must make clear to them the incredible value of Christ’s precious gift to us.

For the day will come – much too soon – when we, too, will be just pillars of remembrance … for them.