This week is a week of remembrance. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom: their own lives.
In the last song we'll sing Sunday for the invitation, "Come Thou Fount", there's a verse that says this:
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
An Ebenezer is an anglicized version of the Hebrew word which means literally "stone of Help". This term is found in the scripture 1 Samuel 7:12 -- "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
Samuel took a stone and set it as a memorial for what God had done for him. When we think of Memorial Day we remember other tombstones; maybe the countless rows of crosses on tombs in Arlington National Cemetery. Also, we think of the cross which is a memorial for each of us of the ultimate sacrifice paid on our behalf by God's Son. Memorials and remembrance are a big part of what God wants from each of us. In the Old Testament, God was constantly setting up ways for the Hebrews to remember together what He had done for them, so they would trust Him in the present and future. The Hebrew feasts were reminders... the entire book of Deuteronomy bursts with the theme of remembrance. For example, chapter 8 of Deuteronomy is all about God reminding His people of what He had done.
So we as a people remember this week: we remember the sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb on our behalf. And we remember that 'there is no greater love that anyone can have than to lay down their life for their friends' (John 15:13).
GRADUATING SENIOR SUNDAY
This week, because of our emphasis on our graduates, we have several members of our student worship team leading us! This is always a great opportunity for the entire church to get a glimpse into the heart of the student ministry. Hunter Simmons and Shawn Mullen do a tremendous job in leading and guiding these students.
The opener this week is a new song that our students love singing called "Unstoppable God." It's a real high energy anthem. Mackenzie Barnard, one of our graduating seniors, is singing a beautiful song called "I am not alone." This song is a favorite because of it's beautiful simplicity and powerful message. We are never alone, even in the darkest of moments.
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"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
1 SAMUEL 7:12