Joshua 4:21,22 – And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. (KJV)
I had just caught the tail end of a book review speaking about the importance of using heirlooms rather than keeping them tucked away. Better they be used, seen, touched, and appreciated, even at risk of breaking something, than to be tucked away.
In the using, history is also preserved. To have something tangible as the story is being told, is to impress it more indelibly on one's mind.
This past Christmas, instead of just talking about using them someday, we used my grandmother's dishes that had been boxed up for over fifty years because they were "just too good to use". We filled them, we passed them around, we ate from them and we washed them. These were plates my mother and her sisters had eaten from when they were younger. My mum and aunts are gone now, but instead of our daughters just hearing about the plates their grandmother had kept in a box from her mother, they could see them, touch them, eat from them.
The message in Joshua is far more important than a set of dishes passed down through the generations, but it is one example of the importance of using something to reinforce the preservation of the story. The greatest of these, is the Bible. We can hear God's word in church, on the radio, through the television, by word of mouth, but we are further blessed to be able to read His word freely.
Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, we are thankful to be in a country where Your word is readily available to us, where we may openly display our Bibles, and read them when and where we choose. In Your name we pray. Amen.