“Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” I Samuel 7:12
I have lately been reflecting on the fact that
has been around for thirty years. I have been reflecting on the fact that at
any time, the Lord could have allowed this ministry to cease and fold up.
Larger and more prominent works have done so, yet still we remain. We can say
along with Samuel in the above verse “hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”
Despite our many mistakes, despite our weaknesses, despite our lack of faith, despite
our personal agendas, despite money problems, despite people coming and going,
despite a difficult suburban mission field, hitherto hath the Lord helped us!
We do not know what tomorrow may bring but we can rejoice in God’s faithfulness
and steadfastness with a broken people. Our reflection on an anniversary should
cause us to be all the more dependent on God for help and power. In the above
Community Church Israel
had just won a victory against the Philistines by God’s great power. If the
nation had tried themselves, as they often did at other times, to fight in
their own strength, failure was assured. Therefore the Ebenezer is set up to
remember the Lord’s help and the people’s dependence. When we seek our desires
for the church, we cannot hope for success. The Lord’s Word and will must be
done. Our great gift is a rest in him to work and to fight for us. As Israel, we
shall hold our peace. Exodus 14:14
This 30th anniversary is in a sense an Ebenezer. A reminder of where our whole reason for everything lies. This is why it is healthy to reflect and praise God for the past as well as to pray that He continues to care for us in the future. Let us humbly walk with Him and lean on Him totally as a church and as individuals for everything.
I encourage all of you to invite as many people as possible to our anniversary service on Sunday October 16th. Whether they have been part of this church in the past or not, it is an opportunity to celebrate together and glorify God for his care. Send those invitations, raise the Ebenezer, for hitherto hat the Lord helped us! Praise Him Praise Him!