Here I Raise Mine Ebenezer

The hymn Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing has this puzzling line:

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’m come . . .”
What in the world is an Ebenezer? And how do you raise it?
An Ebenezer stone comes from I Samuel 7:12 where the prophet raises a large stone to commemorate the place where the people’s restoration to faithfulness began:
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[a] saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
So Ebenezer stones represent fresh beginnings and a change of course for God’s people.  A place to commemorate with thanksgiving how God has intervened and redirected.
A few years ago, I took a Wildnerness Walk with some men from Good Shepherd, and we focused on our Ebenezer stones.  Like this:

And this:

Today and tomorrow, I’ll be raising some Ebenezer stones for . . .

  • A family that walks with Jesus, including a son who is now in the “family business” of ministry (and engaging in it in away well beyond my capabilities).
  • A church that gives me plenty of creative space and leadership freedom.
  • The unexpected favor of having three books out in public now with more on the way.
  • A Texan family of origin who knows how to rally together and throw a party for the ages.  And the aged (see Tuesday post).
  • A slew of new United Methodist friends gained through the magic of the internet. Yes! Social media used not to tear down but to build up!  And even, on occasion, to laugh.
  • The enduring assurance of I John 5:13:  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW you have eternal life.”