Esther 4:13-14, Matthew 5:16
By: Marilyn Lee, Executive Director, Loving Houston
May 11, 2018
I have always loved the book of Esther. I mean, look at her: she received a year of free beauty treatments, won a national contest to become queen, and then risked her life to save her people who were on the brink of destruction! Wow! A real-life beauty queen turned superhero!
Until just recently, the part that stood out most to me was when Mordecai said to Esther:
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I would read that and think, “Wow, what has God called me to? Maybe He’s put me in this role for such a time as this!”
More recently, though, the part just before that line has been weighing on my mind:
“Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish...”
Just as in Esther’s time, there are people here in the Houston area who are facing extreme challenges. There is violence, hunger, and trafficking here. People are still struggling to recover after Hurricane Harvey, schools are on the verge of being shut down, and too many families and communities don’t have access to basic necessities.
Also as in Esther’s time, if the Church doesn’t step up, I now realize that our God truly is sovereign and that relief will come from another place if we keep silent. In fact, amazing collaboratives of government, community, and business leaders have popped up across Houston to address every one of these challenges. But praise God that the faith community has stepped up as well! The challenges within our communities have caused previously closed domains to swing open their doors to welcome faith-based partners in an unprecedented way. And it has been so beautiful to see His children answering the call and representing Him and all of His goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and love in a way that is allowing thousands of people across Greater Houston to experience relief and deliverancein the name of Jesus.
Maybe we are indeed in Houston right now for such a time as this!
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Dear Father, Thank You for the thousands of Christ-followers across Greater Houston. Thank You for the work churches and believers are already doing to demonstrate Your goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and love to our neighbors. We pray that each one of us would continue to be faithful in looking for opportunities to be Your ambassadors and ministers of reconciliation. And we pray that You would help us to be faithful in using the platforms You’ve given each of us in a way that leads those around us to a deeper understanding of who You are. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.