I wonder if you have ever come to a point when you’ve decided that you just can’t sit still for any longer and that you have to get up and take action? That decision to do something is what we are focussing on with this morning’s reading from Esther.
Esther is a young Jewish woman who is in a foreign place, in fact she and a group of fellow Jews are in exile in Persia. During what could be considered as an ancient beauty pageant, she is discovered and set aside to be one of the wives of the King Xerxes and eventually becomes Queen.
As we hear many times throughout the Old Testament, the Jews are considered a threat to the local people and are often persecuted and killed. This is what is threatened in the story of Esther and it falls to Esther and her influence on the King for the planned genocide to be stopped.
Esther agrees, somewhat reluctantly, to act on behalf of her people, deciding that now is the time to act and the option to sit in the palace and ignore what is going on in the city is actually not an option at all.
The book of Esther is an interesting book. If you read it through there is no mention of God in the entire book. That being said, many a theologian would agree that the presence of God is constant throughout the book.
Over the last few years we have all received challenges to take action and stand against a policy or position that a group in power takes. The action steps that immediately come to mind are ‘Love Makes a Way’ – prayerful and peaceful demonstration again the asylum seekers being processed and placed in off shore detention. For those of us on social media there are a lot more opportunities for us to be part of petitions and online action. Each Palm Sunday the UCA around Australia is involved in the march for peace. It was only last week that some thousands of secondary school students skipped school in order to march and draw attention to climate change. For them it was time for action.
All of this reminds us that as the church in the community today we can’t just sit back and watch the world go by? We need to be involved in our community, locally and further afield. It is our involvement that helps to bring light and life to all around us, to bring the kingdom of God just that bit closer.
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