This will be the back page for the 23 July 2017 (7th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A) bulletin of Fishkill United Methodist Church. The Scriptures for this Sunday are Isaiah 32:1-3, 16-20, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 23, 31, and Matthew 16: 13 – 20.
When we sing “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” we sing “here I raise my Ebeneezer.” This refers to a place called “Eben-Ezer” where Samuel built a stone monument to serve as a reminder to the people of God’s help in a time of stress and strife, of God’s faithfulness and His eternal covenant with the people of Israel. It also represented the beginning of a new life after a period of sadness and trouble.
Stone monuments are not seen by just a few people, they are seen by everyone. So, everyone near Eben-Ezer saw this monument and knew of God’s faithfulness and help and the opportunity to begin again and renew their lives.
But stone monuments do not stand the test of time; they tend to erode and disappear over time. But God’s presence and promise does not; it lives through Christ and in our hearts, minds, and soul.
We come to this place today because this is our “Eben-Ezer”, our place of safety and sanctuary. It is where we are recharged and renewed. But this “Eben-Ezer”, just like its predecessor 2000 years ago, is also seen by all. We have raised our Ebeneezer so that everyone can find safety and sanctuary, of being recharged and renewed.