Growing through the roots (Joshua 4,1-5,1)
‘Take you thence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place…that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying What mean ye by these stones? Thee ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were out off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and those atones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.’
The ten stones point to the importance of ‘priestly memory’. Their task is, on behalf of the community, to remember the story of Revelation. For the community (the local church) they highlight the importance of being faithful to Tradition. The stones symbolise how Christian life is rooted in salvation history. Daily prayer, as daily departure through the challenges of life, is our daily ‘Exodus’. The flame of regular prayer for God’s world must be kept burning as our common priestly task. The water of Jordan reminds Christians that through their baptism everyone is ordained to this task of ‘sacred remembrance’.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..