April 21, 2021

Lead like Esther

by Rev. Beverly Markham

Our scriptures are so full of wonderful quotes and one of the best comes from the story of Esther. Towards the end of the story, her uncle, Mordecai, says the immortal words, “you have come to royal dignity for such a time as this.” This is the shortest and best motivational speech ever. We hear these words in sermons and in the charge at ordinations. The motivation is exceptional…you were put here today with your particular gifts for such a time as this. How can we deny the power of these words?

Up until this point in Esther’s story, she is simply doing her duty. She served her time as a potential concubine for the king, and in the end, she was chosen as queen. This is not a fairy tale so her being chosen as queen was not joyous. Esther was Jewish and her husband, King Ahasuerus, was not. He didn’t know she was Jewish and in fact, after they married, he agreed to destroy all Jews.
Esther found out about what was happening, and she was not sure how she should respond. Her uncle said she needed to talk to the king and help her people. Her reply was basically, do you know how hard that is? Plus…he’ll kill me! Her instinct was to under-function like Saul did when he faced Goliath - to let the threat linger and not face it. Esther’s uncle Mordecai motivated her with that famous speech, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”

So, do you know what she did? She called on her people to help her by fasting on her behalf. She put on her royal robes and she did her part (not everybody’s part – only hers) of meeting with the king. She didn’t do it alone but she and the Jews were saved.

None of us were placed here to do everything by ourselves, and none of us were put here to sit on the sidelines. We all have gifts to use and when we do use our gifts alongside others, our communities flourish.

Our Book of Order states, “Christ calls the Church into being, giving it all that is necessary for its mission in the world, for its sanctification, and for its service to God.” The gifts each of us brings to APC are part of what is necessary for our mission, sanctification, and service to God. Thanks be to God we are all here now, for such a time as this!
God of all times, we give you thanks that you have given us eyes to see and hearts to understand not only what you do on our behalf, but what you call us to do so that your kingdom will grow and thrive here and now and in glory. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com