Right Place, Right Time
“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.””
Esther 4:12-16 NIV
Where has God placed you? Most of us do not have careers in religious life. Do your coworkers know you are a Christian? Can they see God’s light in you? The word ‘church’ is translated from the Greek word Ekklesia, meaning “a gathering of those summoned.” This is an interesting fact because it is evidence that the church is the people. The building itself is just another structure. It only becomes the church, when those summoned are gathered. Who are the summoned? Good question! As believers we are called out—“come out from among them and be separate says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17). To be called out, is to be summoned. We, as believers of Christ, are the church, the summoned people. What does that have to do with Esther? Glad you asked.
Esther was a Jew. There was no way she could have been queen. Yet, she found favor with the king because she was beautiful. What Esther had not realized, though, is that God does not favor you for you. It is always for you to help someone else. Esther was the queen during a time when the king’s top advisor was planning to destroy the Jews. In the text we read today, Mordecai said to Esther, “who knows if you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” And she had! Through her obedience, wisdom and courage, the Jews were saved.
Look around at our world today. The violence, wickedness, turmoil, and pain. We must be the church! Especially during lent! Too many Christians focus on what we’re giving up. There’s nothing wrong with fasting and abstaining, but that’s personal. What can we do for others? How can we win back souls for the Kingdom? Lent is about remembering Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—the very foundation of our faith. Jesus lived His life serving others. Healing. Teaching. We have been summoned to do the same. For today’s reflection, what if we shifted our focus to adding something, and not just giving up something? What if we show that we have been called out by leading a small group or a Bible study at lunch or taking extra time with an older coworker struggling to adjust to new technology? Who knows if you have been placed in your sector for such a time as this. Will you follow Esther’s lead or will you hoard your favor?