Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ’s Presence with “The Outcast”
  
Esther 4:1-17
Gabriella John
 
St. Peter’s MTC, NJ 
14 For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” 

 
Amidst the chaos of our lives whether work, school, parenting and so forth, it is easy to become comfortable with routines that we establish to create a sense of peace and efficiency. In this routine we do the minimal of what is necessary and beneficial for ourselves day by day. What then happens to those outside of our little bubble—the sick, the persecuted, the needy, and the poor? Are we aware of our surroundings and the realities of this world? It is easy to consume ourselves with selfish matters and neglect those around us.

 
Esther 4:1-17 shows us the troubles of God’s chosen people, the Jews, at the time—“dispatchers were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children” (Esther 3:13). Mordecai, son of Jair, had heard of this news and began crying and wailing outside the King’s gates. In efforts to save his people, Mordecai reached out to Queen Esther, an orphan whom he had taken in and nurtured as his own. As a Jew, Esther herself, is an outsider within the Persian community and culture. Upon sharing this news of her people, Esther understood that any man or woman who approaches the King without being summoned would be subject to death unless the King extends a gold scepter and spares his or her life. Esther questions her own authority in the King’s court and also her ability to effect change. Mordecai reminds her that her silence could demolish her family name and her own people entirely. She fasted and prayed for her people before approaching the King. Esther understood the laws and willingly went against it with the mindset of “if I perish, I perish”(Esther 4:16).

 
Although initially Esther’s reluctance to stand for her people was rooted in her fear of revealing her true identity as a Jew, she overcame her resistance and stepped out to claim her God and her faith. God used Esther to deliver His people. We can admire Esther’s qualities of bravery, faith, and strength. Her public proclamation of her faith truly saved her people and her family. Like us, Esther simply lived in the comfort of her home focused on only her own day-to-day life. Instead, God calls each of us to come out of our comfort zone and be His self-less disciples by spreading the Good News to all people!

PRAYER

Lord, open our eyes to see where You want us to be used and where You want us to be vocal about who You are. Teach us how to be a witness to our faith and prepare our hearts to stand for Your word and Your truth. Help us to  have courage and bravery just as Esther did. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
Today among the chaos and routines of our life, let us be encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and step up for Christ!