This was my message in my church's May newsletter. Some of the thoughts go beyond the parish, so I am blogging them, too.
Ebenezer? You mean, like, Scrooge?
I remember a church development speaker saying, “Check your hymns to see if they make sense to your people. Do they really know what ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer’ means?”
In I Samuel 7:12 we read: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
Ebenezer means “stone of help” in Hebrew. Samuel’s stone-of-help was a mark of the progress the people made under God’s blessing.
This month is a kind of Ebenezer at our house. On May 26th, Melissa and I mark our 20th wedding anniversary. It falls on a Wednesday, so we will most likely renew our vows at the 12:15 service at Calvary Cathedral – it is a Communion service designed for the downtown lunch hour, so please come if you can.
Also, this month is our son Tim’s graduation from Lincoln High. We are very proud of him and more thankful than we can express for the blessings God has given him through life in South Dakota.
All of you at Good Shepherd have been God’s own helping hands and voices to us. The parish as a whole and each of you in special ways are Ebenezers – to look at you is to see a mark of how God has blessed our lives in an amazing season.
May God set marks of blessing in your lives today, to encourage you on the path that leads to eternal life.