Ebenezer Stones … Stones of Help,
Stones of Remembrance
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.”
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
An Ebenezer jar is a tangible way to help children understand the importance and value of remembering our own spiritual experiences and recognizing that these experiences, given to us by the Lord, shape us into the people that He wants us to be. Ebenezer stones serve as symbols of God’s unfailing love and forever faithfulness to us. Stones are added to the jar to commemorate significant events in our spiritual journeys, and to serve as physical reminders of His presence as we experience God’s blessings, protection, and help in our lives.
We will be celebrating some spiritual milestones with you as a church: dedications, baptisms, mission trips, moving from preschool to children’s ministry, and children’s to youth, graduation. For these times the church will present the stones and accompanying notes. The church will provide a jar for each baby being dedicated. For those of us with older children, it’s never too late to begin!
As your child experiences spiritual milestones, times of special blessings, or times when you recognize God working in his or her life, choose a stone, write the date and a word or symbol on it, and place it in the jar. A card or note should accompany the stone, perhaps placed in a scrapbook or file box, which gives details about the significance of the event. Over the years the Ebenezer stones will become a visible legacy, reminding your child of God’s many blessings and protections, and helping your child through the tough times in life.