These last two weeks, you may have noticed that we haven't had your typical Advent texts. In Advent we are getting ready for Jesus' birth, so I think it is easy to fall into the trap of only looking at Gospel lessons. As we have been exploring the whole Bible using the Narrative Lectionary, we see that there has been a pattern developing since Genesis about the character of God. God is about using every day/normal people and placing them into extraordinary circumstances to make a difference in people's lives.
This is what is happening in our text for today. If you haven't had a chance to read the book of Esther yet, I would recommend it to you. It is a short book and it is quite an interesting story. At the time of this writing, the people of Israel had been exiled into Babylon. They are no longer rulers of their own land but in fact have been captured and forced to live their lives outside of their homeland and to embrace customs that were not of their own. Esther before she becomes apart of the King's haram, is an orphan. It was just prior to this happening that her cousin Mordecai, found her and was helping her out. Nobody in the Haram outside of Esther's inner circle even knows she is Jewish. If they did, this would effect her negatively in the Persian Royal Court.
At this point in the story, Esther is forced to act so that she can make a difference. The king had just drafted a law which could condemn all of the Jews to death. In order to talk to the king about what he was doing Esther, would have to take a life or death chance, because a person could only talk to the King if he wished it. Otherwise the person would be executed for trying to talk to the king.
Spoiler Alert, her chance pays off. She helps the King draft a law where the Jews can defend themselves from their enemies and her people are saved. Esther made a difference. Advent is about Christ coming into the world to make a difference in our lives and to show us how we can make a difference in other people's lives. So what about you? Where is God asking you to make a difference in somebody else's lives. How can you this Advent season, help somebody see the hope that we get from our Savior? Maybe it is volunteering at the food shelf. Maybe it is donating to the sock it campaign here at church for the kids at Greenfield. Advent reminds us that God made a difference for us and our lives and that we are called to do the same.
Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!