But back in the days of her struggles, an artist in her church gave her a painted white stone, with a cross painted on it. It was just a small stone that might be used as a paperweight.
My sister showed me that stone while I was there in Calgary. We wondered out loud what the significance of that white stone might be. And it came to me immediately.
In Revelation 2:17 Jesus is addressing one of the seven churches. He says,
”He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”
I am learning that there are a couple of theories about the white stone.
http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=72835 (the author of this sermon injects his errant theological views to 'colour' his research about the white stone.)
A comment here:
‘The Romans of New Testament times had a token of hospitality between two friends, which consisted of a tile of wood or stone, which was divided in half. Each person wrote his name on one of the two pieces, and then exchanged that piece with the other person. These were often kept and handed down from father to son. To produce the counterpart of one of these pieces would guarantee the hospitality of a real friend’
Against this identification, though, is the fact that Revelation does not mention stones being swapped, only that one is given. However, it does fit in well with the idea of being granted to eat of the hidden manna in the previous clause of the verse.
To eat with someone in the context of Biblical times was to enter in to a covenant relationship with them. Hence I Cor 11:20-22 - a love feast/communion meal was a time of sharing with one another and thus entering into covenant relationship with each other through Christ and because of Christ.
Similarly, that Jesus permits those in Pergamum to partake (Revelation only says ‘give’ without indicating consumption, however) of the hidden manna would indicate that they become united in covenant relationship through their participation in Him (who is the true manna - see above).
Each participant, Jesus regards as a special guest and a white stone is given upon which a name is written given to Him by God (see, for instance, Is 62:2, 65:15) to allow Him to enter freely into that great and final banquet (Rev 19:7, Mtw 22:1-14).
The white stone, as far as we can tell, had two meanings. One was that a white stone was used as a vote of acquittal. A vote for NOT GUILTY!
If you received a black stone, it meant you are guilty. If a black stone was cast in a decision, it was a vote of guilt. In fact, it is probable this is where the expression "to be black-balled" comes from.
The other meaning was that the white stone was a token of admission. If you were invited to a feast, you may receive a white stone, which you would show the porter as you enter the hall or the place of the feast.
In either case, the meaning is precious. I want to track down sources on this theme, and hope to revisit this topic with more research.
The new name generally signifies a new destiny. Although I don't think many people heard about it, at the memorial service we took that white stone and placed it in the hands of Lisa in the coffin, as a powerful symbol to the family, and a statement to the principalities and powers that she belongs to the Lord and none other. She has been acquitted of all of her sins, and she has a glorious new destiny!
And that is a tremendous comfort.
PS. If any of my readers find interesting sources of info or legend about The White Stone, please share them with me. I would be most interested in seeing your information.