The book of Esther is one of the parts of the Bible that I don’t preach from very often, but should. Her story is a beautiful one. It is set in the time period when the Jews were in exile, Esther says in Persia. As the story opens, we find the king, Ahasuerus, embarrassed and angry with the Queen for not showing up at a Royal function. So, he decides to look for a new queen (sort of a B.C. version of the Bachelor TV show). Of all of the beautiful young ladies from his vast kingdom, he chooses Esther. As she is pondering her good fortune, there comes an edict purposed by Haman, one of the royal officials to kill all of the Jews. The quote from chapter 4, verse 14 spoken by Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, is perhaps the key scripture for the whole Book: “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” Esther is one of the easier and most enjoyable stories in the Bible, so I urge you to read the rest of the story for yourself so you can see what God works out for this heroine. Be warned, though, God’s Name is not mentioned anywhere in this book. Some of the scholars suggest that that is why the Book of Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that was not valued and preserved by those ancient Essene Jews who hid what we now call the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls.’
Esther’s question posed by her uncle is one maybe for each of us. Anybody who has ever said, ‘Why me?’ about any of the things you’ve gone through- whether good or bad- should consider turning the question around to, “Who knows? Maybe God has put me in this situation just so I could do something, something I can’t even imagine I’d be able to do anything about. That’s what God did for young Esther. She saved the Jews from being wiped out just because the king took a liking to her. Some of the best witnesses are from scared people who don’t want to have to speak out. God just puts them in the places where He needs His work done, and they find His courage to “get ‘er done.” God will do that with you and me, too. No matter what kind of situation you find yourself in.
One of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, in his book, With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life says, “Our little lives become great- part of the mysterious work of God’s salvation. Once that happens, nothing is accidental, casual or futile any more. Even the most insignificant event speaks the language of faith, hope and, above all, love.”
Put the Church Conference on your calendar for Sunday, October 25 at 2:00. Our District Superintendant, Rev. James Large, will be here to look at our church’s past year and plans for the year ahead. We are a small church with a big God who is guiding us into His future.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jeff Symonds