Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?“
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My Maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Ann Voscamp writes of Esther in her book, The Greatest Gift:
Esther hears the Mordecai message, and it does something to her soul. You’ve got to use your position inside the gate for those outside the gate- or you’re in the position of losing everything.
Esther puts herself in the place of those outside the gate and makes herself the bridge to the King. And the woman given gifts for such a time as this- she risks her position for the people. If I perish, I perish.
Are we called to be Esther’s?
The scope of this Trump era, this rise in global nationalism, is a bit much to take in. It makes my head start to dizzy. When I see one win for the people, I then look ahead and quickly realize that this fight is anywhere but over. As blatant lies keep getting thrown at us. As legislation that will hurt our most vulnerable gets signed into law. As we see just how entrenched in “isms” our government and culture is. It’s daunting. It seems impossible. And we know that as we keep getting these things thrown at us, just like mass shootings, it will soon become outrage for a few days and then pushing aside until the next tragedy. All the while the margins that were targeted by the violence will suffer alone wondering where we went. It’s hard to stay engaged when we aren’t affected directly. It’s much easier to pretend it away. Is this how the church will fall? How do we keep up our fight when it would be much easier to fall into complacency- the easy road. Fighting and staying awake is terrifying and seemingly impossible, how are we to keep going on this narrow road?
That’s where we’re called though. Down the narrow, challenging, daunting, painful, sorrowful, peace-bound road. We know that hope drives us on this road. We know that peace isn’t just a pretty little word. It’s an action and it’s not an easy one- it’s not hiding under a rock. We know that to love means walking into the spaces that have been darkened by pain and suffering and shining the light of justice. We know that it means speaking truth to power over and over again. We know that it means pouring mercy and grace over those that have been deemed unworthy, unfit. It means taking the burdens on our shoulders and falling into step with those that would be left behind.
This is counter to what the world tells us. This is counter to what nationalism tells us. This is counter to what mainstream Christianity, which seems to have fallen to a worldly nationalism, tells us.
Which path will we take?
If we choose the narrow:
Will we use our place in the gates?
Will we determine to persevere?
Will we risk our lives?
“Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”