Here I raise my Ebenezer.
- From the hymn
"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
Recently I was reading a book about worship in which one of the authors said how much he liked the words "Here I raise my Ebenezer" -- even though he did not know what they meant until he was an adult. He just liked the way they sounded. He was making the point that there are things we learn from memory that can shape our spiritual lives, even before we comprehend them.
In case you do not know what these words mean, they come from the Bible (1 Samuel 7:12). They refer to the name of a stone Samuel raised up to commemorate his victory over the Philistines. No doubt it stood there for a long time as a symbol of what God had done. It was something important they should not forget.
I think we have similar "Ebenezer" experiences in our lives that we need to remember as being significant. Last Saturday evening's 5th Anniversary CanCare Victory for Hope Dinner was one of them. Not only was it a memorable evening filled with inspiring speakers, meaningful recognitions, and excellent fellowship - I believe it also marks a significant time in the life of our church. That event was actually the coming together of two of the five goals in our recently completed Long-range Plan.
The first goal involved passionately pursing a major mission initiative focused on a specific human hurt or need. Through that mission, we would be known as "the church that . . ." Today, we are known as "The CanCare Church." Five years ago we decided to become the lead church in bringing CanCare to the metropolitan Atlanta area. Today we have been so successful that the "Atlanta Model" is now the model that will be used nationally to expand CanCare.
The second goal was the completion of a multipurpose building. Our Great Hall fulfilled that need. We saw these two goals come together last Saturday night when we used this amazing new space to host this life-changing community event. I believe that event will be one of our "Ebenezers" we can look to for years to come. It will remind us what we can do together to make a difference in our world through God's grace! And thanks to all of you who helped make that possible.
Prayer for Today
Loving God, thank you for those transformational moments that create pillar events in our lives. When we need strength and encouragement, remind us to look to these pillars to build up our faith. Thank you for all of the great things you do in our lives! In the strong name of Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen.