What does Ebenezer REALLY mean??

24 Oct

Ebenezer.  We hear the name and it conjures all kinds of thoughts.  For some, it is the first name of a most interesting literary character, Ebenezer Scrooge, in A Christmas Carol.  Others hear the name and think of the famous church in Atlanta that was the mother church of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  And in Florence, SC, it means even more …

Ebenezer Baptist Church was founded in 1778 near the site on which it stands now.  Richard Furman, Evan Pugh, and Timothy Dargan were among the leaders who planted this church and began a tradition older than the City of Florence itself.  The name “Ebenezer” comes from a compound Hebrew word meaning “Stone of Help” raised in 1 Samuel 7 by the Children of Israel to remember a great defeat God handed them over the Philistines.  In a time of great danger, God delivered them.  This “Ebenezer” raised by the Children of Israel would always remind them of that horrific battle and great delivery!!

A few moments ago I was looking on Facebook and I saw a picture (posted by Nicole Cameron).  Our latest Honduras mission team is wrapping up their work and preparing to return home and Nicole has posted some great pictures.  But this one really gets to me:

Ebenezer love

I look at this picture and am reminded of yet ANOTHER meaning of Ebenezer.  We know the academic meaning and we know the pop-culture meaning and even the local Florence meaning.  But to now THOUSANDS of people in Colon, Honduras, Ebenezer means something totally different.  It means HOPE.  It means LOVE.  It means that God has not forgotten them and that there are people who care enough to work hard, pay with their hard-earned money, take time off from their jobs and lives, and come to Honduras.  Come to this land those folks call home and make a difference.  Come and provide healthcare that almost none of them could afford, come and stand up for a bunch of orphans who could never stand up for themselves, and come tell everyone who will listen that Jesus Christ loves them and wants to save them.

And when I realize that, I feel like the most fortunate pastor in the world.  Because these Ebenezer people … they are MY people.  And when I see them loving on the world just as Jesus commanded us to love. I get really proud.  And love them even more!!!

Yes, it really MEANS something to be a part of this church.  And I am thankful!!

One Response to “What does Ebenezer REALLY mean??”

  1. Betty Moore-Bell October 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Well said David! amen, amen!

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