Being a book from ancient times, The Bible has a few words (Jewish and not so Jewish) that aren’t readily used in any other context than Christian circles.
Ebenezer is one of them.
After my Church service finished this morning I bypassed the free morning tea on offer, got in my car and headed straight to a local park because I wanted to go there and look for something. It took me a little while to find it, because it was smaller than I expected.
The ancient Jews seemed to like stones a bit. They set them up in a few places. When they first arrived safely in the Promised Land, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River and set them up in their camp: one stone for each tribe.
The prophet, Samuel liked stones too. He set up a stone after the Jews were victorious in battle. He called it Ebenezer: stone of help. It was to remind them of God’s help in the battle.
It was a stone I was looking for in the local park this morning.
A stone about a different battle; a battle that ended one hundred years ago today.
There was a commemoration service at the park this morning.
HNAC Alison would have been there.
Actual Alison was almost there too and had she not been on the roster to play piano at Church this morning she would have skipped the gathering of the Lord’s people and attended another gathering instead.
Had she been given more notice, she also would have swapped her turn on the roster.
(Herein lies a brief admonish directed at Ryde Council, for only giving less than four days’ notice for a significant community event).
Fortunately we observed a minute’s silence immediately after the sermon concluded and had memorial prayers a little later at Church this morning. So I didn’t feel that I’d missed out completely.
I like remembering how our soldiers have served us in the past. I think it’s good to remember. Often when I read in The Bible about the Jews setting up stones it seems a bit archaic and unusual. Yet, when I think about the stones we set up around us in Australia in modern times, I realise that it’s not an odd thing to do at all.
I’m not really a ‘technology person’ (ask anyone who knows me). In this digital age there’s alarms and reminders we can set on devices to help us remember. However, I think there’s still something to be said for a physical reminder.
Coincidentally, my Church’s service this morning included Communion (or The Lord’s Supper as some call it). That’s an activity all about remembering.
Anyone present is welcome to eat a small piece of bread and drink a small cup of wine or grape juice communally. It’s a physical reminder of the body and blood of Christ broken in sacrifice when he was crucified. It’s a symbolic act, like setting up a stone.
I really wanted to go and look at a stone this morning. I wanted to be there when it was officially unveiled. I wanted to be able to connect with the people who served one hundred years ago. I wanted to be in a special place ‘consecrated’ for that purpose.
I wanted to remember.
I think remembering is good for our souls.
‘Do this in remembrance of me’ Jesus said. Lest we forget.
Yours in remembrance,
Image Credit: Personal Collection