Inukshuk (n-nook-shook)

Written by Kara Reasoner

 

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood/offering Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture, it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the One who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”    

—-I Peter2:5-6
 
I first became fascinated with an inukshuk (n- nook- shook) on a 2018 trip to Ireland. One of our stops was a small fishing village on the west coast of the island. While enjoying a walk on the beach, our guide pointed out to us as we faced out to the ocean, the next stop from here is America! Further down the beach, we came upon several stacks of stones. It was clear they were not a natural phenomenon but were man-made. My curiosity got the best of me and I began to inquire about these interesting pillars of stones. One of the locals told me these stacks of stones were inukshuks, left by someone communicating “someone was here” or “you are on the right path”.
 
The definition of an inukshuk is “a structure of rough stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by Inuit people as a landmark or a commemorative sign.” Inuit are indigenous people of Northern Canada (where I saw my second inukshuk and in the form of a man) and part of Greenland and Alaska. Inukshuks were typically used by the Inuit as directional markers. Over the years inukshuks have transformed into a symbol of hope, safety, and friendship to people all over the world!
 
Last March, our lives were changed in ways that we could never have imagined. A few days after the shutdown, I decided to build an inukshuk at the end of our driveway. At first it was a physical sign for me of hope and friendship.  Then it became a sign we were headed in the right direction.  And now it stands as a testament to the human spirit. We grieve with those who have lost loved ones. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get to the other side of this pandemic.
 

A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Tony shared with us about a Hebrew mizpah from the story of Jacob and Laban. They erected a pillar of stones marking an agreement between the two of them, with God as their watching witness or watchtower. Loosely interpreted, mizpah means “may God watch over between you and me while we’re apart.”

People have been using pillars and stacks of stones to communicate for centuries.  Pillars of stones, monuments to God, buildings—-they all are built by man and can be destroyed. Wesley Chapel is a beautiful facility and we have been blessed, but the building itself is not the church. Never more than during this pandemic has it been made clearer that the church is not a building of brick, mortar, and stone. We, God’s people the – “living stones”- are the church! Throughout the last year when we could not meet in person or were limited in numbers, Wesley Chapel turned to new and different ways to reach people outside the walls of the building. Nothing is more important to God than people. Each of us are the “living stones” with Jesus as our cornerstone. May we never lose sight, no matter the circumstances, of being rooted in Christ, growing in grace, making disciples to transform the world, and always loving well!


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