AN EBENEZER THANKSGIVING
Do you know what an Ebenezer is? I often sang that hymn, “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing.” The second verse begins with “Here I raise mine Ebenezer.”
An Ebenezer is actually a huge stone that was raised to help us remember how God has helped us in times past. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12) We need to raise an Ebenezer to remind us how good God has been to us in the past and to thank God for all His blessings.
The more that we receive in life, the more prone we are to forget to be thankful for our blessings. It is easy to forget – it takes intentionality to remember. Our distinctly American holiday tradition of Thanksgiving is about remembering and being thankful. We need an Ebenezer to remind us not to forget.
Moses was constantly reminding the people of Israel not to forget. Deuteronomy 6:10-13 says, “The Lord your God has brought you into the land He promised your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And when He has given you great cities full of good things – cities you didn’t build, wells you didn’t dig, and vineyards and olive trees you didn’t plant – and when you have eaten until you can hold no more, then beware lest you forget the Lord Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the land of slavery. When you are full, don’t forget.”
Rebecca Sharrock is one of only 80 people worldwide who has a condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). She can remember every moment of her life in extraordinary detail. She can even remember lying in the front seat of a car when she was 12 days old. She was staring up at the steering wheel and wondering what it was. She can recite the entire collection of Harry Potter books. Rebecca has that rare condition that helps her remember. What do you do to remember?
I’ve seen some people who tie a string around their finger to help them remember something. I’ve witnessed people set their alarm on their smartphones so they will remember a certain appointment. When I need to remember to carry something home with me from the office, I place it in front of the door, so I have to step over it.
Intentionally create some way of remembering. I heard about one little girl who had to apologize in a letter for forgetting her aunt’s birthday. She was very creative at helping jog her aunt’s memory when she wrote, “Dear Aunty, I’m sorry I forgot your birthday. It will serve me right if you forget mine next Friday.”
Hosea 13:4-6 records God saying to the Israelites, “I have been with you ever since I brought you out from Egypt. You have no God but me. There is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.”
Here is your assignment. Every day for seven days, ask five people, “Are you raising your Ebenezer?” That exercise will not only help you remember not to forget but offer an opportunity to teach someone about the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
Will you make this an Ebenezer Thanksgiving?