Community in Action January 20, 2021

“And who knows

 but that you have come

 to your royal position

 for such a time as this?”

 Esther 4:14b

    A couple of days ago Joan and I finished a 770 piece wooden puzzle. It was perhaps the most challenging jigsaw puzzle we have yet to attempt. It was of a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559 called The Fight Between Carnival and Lent.

    If you are familiar with the work it has a lot of somber, darken colors and strange characters in the painting. Not only was the coloring challenging to decipher, but the wooden pieces were a challenge to fit together.

    We have yet to start working on a new puzzle for we are admiring out accomplishment. As usual there were pieces which we thought could not possibly fit the hole which was evident nor where the colors, according to the picture, in the pattern we expected. In fact I printed out a larger depiction of the painting with our colored printer trying to capture a larger more color accurate rendition. It helped some, but the challenge was still there.

    Sometimes it seems like our lives are not in alignment to our circumstances or I should say our expectations do not fit our current situation. So Esther must have thought when her uncle Mordecai reveals to her the planned demise of her people, the Hebrew people.

    She had been chosen to be the new queen of King Xerxes of Persia. Her heritage as a Hebrew had been kept secret, but now a plan had been hatched by an enemy of her people to destroy the Hebrews.

    Her uncle came to ask her to plead with the King to allow the Hebrews to defend themselves when the date of the attack was to commence. Yet, she reminds her uncle that no one approaches the king without being invited. If he does not choose to listen to you you will be put to death, but if he is willing to hear what you have to say there is still no guarantee he will grant your wish.

    Mordecai tells Esther, that no matter what, sometime the king will learn of her heritage and perhaps her having been chosen queen was orchestrated by God to thwart this threat to her people.

    Not many of us are placed in such a position, a life and death situation not only for ourselves but our family or our tribe. Yet I believe that all Christians have a purpose on this earth. Some to stand up and proclaim and others to sit down and pray. Some to carry on as before and others to move in a new direction. Some to care for their own and others to reach out to care for the least of these, maybe even for our enemies.

    But I believe we all are called to be a witness of God’s grace on this earth. We are all called to, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

    How can we best do this? That is up to you and our Lord. I believe there is no better time than now to live out our calling. There is no better time than now to be the witness God calls us to be. There is no better time to live out our faith “not by the example of power, but by the power of our example,” to quote our newly elected President.

    We may not have an easy climb in 2021, but I think we are called to be who God calls us to be for such a time as this.

    Seeking to live into my calling with you,

    Pastor Randy

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