The antique gold plated pocket watch stands proudly on my dresser. It has “Wm. McCracken” hand lettered on its face. It was given to my grandfather at his “retirement” from the mission that was influential in leading him to Christ and sobriety. He served on staff there for over a decade after his transformation.
I put it there intentionally … so that I am reminded everyday of my spiritual heritage. My God story starts with an alcoholic grandfather who had a life changing encounter with God because of his addiction. His watch is an “Ebenezer”… a visual memorial of my family’s God story. The prophet Samuel erected a memorial to help fathers tell the story of God’s faithfulness to their children (I Samuel 7:12).
Recently I raised another “Ebenezer” in our home. On our mantle sits a carefully folded American flag … 4 of its stars shining through the triangular case. It is the flag that drapped my father’s casket. It is a powerful symbol of not only his service to our country as an island hopping Marine in WWII, but to the victories he experienced after he returned home. Dad overcame a tremendous amount of adversity … you can read about those in the book.
My question to you is … what are the “Ebenezers” in your home … the artifacts and heirlooms that are displayed in your living spaces that help you tell your family God story? If you have some … please leave a comment about them and let’s get a little story telling going on …
God has shared with us the greatest story ever told; and He wants us as parents and grandparents to tell it to our children. He commanded His Old Testament family (Israelites) to share chapters of this story throughout the year through a number of ordained holy days (holidays). These feasts and celebrations were specifically designed for fathers to tell God’s redemptive story to their children.
For example, Passover … the story of the angel of death’s “passing over” God’s people has been shared by Jewish families for over 3500 years! It is the story of how a perfect was taken into the homes of the Israelites almost like a pet … I am sure that the children probably became attached to this little lamb … and then he was killed … and his blood painted onto the doorposts … and when the angel of death saw the blood on the door … he “passed over” that home and the first-born male is spared.
What a story … of not only how God freed His people from Egyptian slavery … but a foreshadowing of how Jesus … the Lamb of God … would shed HIs blood for us … so that the curse and judgement of eternal death would be broken … and our lives spared both now and for eternity.
Stop and think about your family’s “God story.” How has God brought you and your family to this point in His story (history)? Who are the earliest Christians in your family tree? What forms of “slavery” or bondage did God save your family out of? How did you come to faith? These stories will be the greatest ones you ever tell to your children and grandchildren!