It’s time to pause for thought given that we’ve just reached 10 years in our current location, but also we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. You could say we have tin and silver in mind as symbols! It’s quite a year.
It’s possible to celebrate in various ways and we will do so with the local fellowships, various friends and our family. Such celebrations rejoice in how a relationship can grow and develop over time through a range of experiences, tests and decisions taken. We are the people that we are because of what we have lived through and who we have shared these things with.
I think of this as ‘an Ebenezer moment.’ That might at first sound like an oversize bottle of champagne at a party. But it is in fact an episode from the Bible marking an important moment. In the book of history called I Samuel, the Old Testament prophet raises a stone as a monument to the goodness of God that the people had experienced: ‘Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (I Sam 7v12). The meaning of the name Ebenezer is ‘stone of help’.
For those with a good musical knowledge you might recognize the word Ebenezer from the hymn ‘Come thou fount of every blessing’ written in 1757 by the young pastor Rev Robert Robinson aged 22. More recently the band Mumford & Sons have covered it in some of their live shows. The lyrics reflect on God’s grace, his sheer loving kindness or favour to the undeserving. This particular hymn provides us with a way of articulating our thanks and praise for the Lord God, who has brought us to this point and can be relied on for the future.
I hope that at times of celebration you also turn to the Lord with thanks and praise for his faithfulness and loving kindness towards his people.