We all have milestone moments in our lives marked by “firsts.” Physically, we watch our children take first steps and speak their first words. Emotionally, we have first dates and first loves. Spiritually, we have our first steps of discipleship, baptism, soon followed by our first communion. Life is full of milestones marked by firsts. The beauty of firsts are that more of the same always follow them. For every first, there tends to be a second and a third and so on. That is an important aspect of faith. For as much significance there may be the first time you realize God’s faithfulness, ongoing moments of his faithfulness are continuously revealed. These “thin places” of revelation often occur at milestone moments along life’s journeys.
In 1 Samuel, the people of Israel realized one of many moments of God’s faithfulness after a great victory over the Phillistines. The location of that victory just so happened at the exact location as a terrible loss for Israel some 20 years earlier. God was faithful, and as a result, “
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us
.” The stones called Ebenezer signified a high water mark for the people of Israel in that generation and it symbolized a hope for God’s faithfulness in days to come.
This Sunday, we recognize our graduating High School seniors during worship. This is one of those “firsts” for these young men and women. They prepare for their respective schools’ commencement exercises, but we who have watched them grow in spiritual stature have the privilege to consecrate them as living monuments to God’s faithful help thus far. With that consecrating prayer comes a responsibility to commission them out as they begin the next chapters of their lives towards the next milestone in their spiritual growth.
I’m going to be with our vision team in Romania this weekend, but I am so excited that our Minister to Students, Wally Dedman, will be recognizing these seniors and delivering a message for all of us. As we consecrate and commission these beloved graduates, I want to encourage you to be present this Sunday morning as we corporately honor these loved ones and their families. We also should use this occasion to pause and ponder our own milestones as individuals and as a congregation. We have to remember that God has been, currently is, and always will be faithful to His promises. Are you looking for your next milestone on your spiritual journey? There is one close by.
Expecting His Best,
Stephen V. Allen
to access our daily itinerary and a devotional guide for our Vision Team in Romania. Please join us as we prayerfully discern God's will this week in our partnership with those in Romania.