By Jenny Wilson, Connect Editor
I had a milestone birthday recently, yes that’s right…21 again! It got me thinking about milestones, significant points on our journeys whether literal or metaphorical. As someone who grew up in Ayrshire, it makes me think of Ailsa Craig, or Paddy’s Milestone, a small granite island off the Ayrshire Coast halfway between Glasgow and Belfast. It’s why our good friends at Milestone Christian Fellowship in Girvan named their church Milestone.
Milestones can be happy occasions to celebrate or they can be poignant times of reflection. There have been many significant milestones reached in the last couple of months during this ongoing pandemic we have been facing. Over 100,000 deaths in the UK (sadly now over 120,000) and over 2.5 Million deaths worldwide. These have been very sad times, which have impacted so many people. I don’t know about you, but I have been heartened and encouraged to hear about the significant numbers of people who have already received their first dose of the vaccine!
This month we hit the milestone of one year since the start of the first Lockdown and the significant changes to all our lives. And, as Christians, how we journey together as a community of believers, what that looks like now and what that might look like in the future. In another article for March, Martin shares some of his reflections on the past year.
I’ve been reminded recently that throughout scripture significant milestones were also marked and celebrated/commemorated. I’ve also been thinking about the passage in Joshua where the people of Israel are told to gather 12 large stones to take across the Jordan with them to remember this significant event in the life of God’s people:
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’
In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel for ever.’
Joshua 4:1-3; 6-7 NIVUK
As we head through March, we think of the festival of Passover when the people of Israel remembered God saving his people from the Egyptians. And of course, we remember the momentous milestone of Jesus’s death and resurrection, when we celebrate at Easter what God has done for us.