I’m so happy to be back with y’all for day 13 of Lent – as it has been just so busy with midterms at the Mississippi State University and I have been standing on my head a little.
As always, though, I am super grateful for that kind of busy. This week is hectic too with another final and paper due so. . . onward. 😉
With deadlines, I didn’t get to talk over the weekend about Purim and it’s one of my favorite Bible stories, the festival remembering Esther and the deliverance of the Jewish people. I was thinking I might still talk about it today – and, when I opened my Ann Voskamp devotional, today’s devo was “How to be an Esther and Break a Thousand Gates.” A total God thing.
I so then knew we were talking about Purim, which was February 25th – 26th.
It’s recorded in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament.
I encourage everyone to read the Scripture but the most well known passage is in Chapter 4. At this point, Esther has become queen but the king does not realize she is Jewish. At the same time, owing to a second in command with nefarious plans, a decree has been issued for the Jewish people to be executed. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, is encouraging her to take action.
And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “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. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day, I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. – Esther 4:12-17 (ESV)
In this passage, the most frequently quoted verse is often translated, “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” As pictured above, I have it on my wall – and it was the theme of our Southern Christian Writer’s Conference this past year. It has inspired so many over centuries and centuries.
At that time, Esther’s heroic actions saved the Jewish people – and Mordecai established the holiday of Purim that they might always be remembered.
In her devotional about being the Esther Generation, Ann Voskamp writes:
The way to slowly die is to you live in a space of scarcity and not abundance of generosity. The abundant way of life is the paradox of the broken way, to believe we live with enough time, enough resources, enough God. Any fear of giving to God’s kingdom is flawed. It would be like a farmer who feared losing his bucket of seeds so he failed to plant his own field. . . There’s always enough abundance and grace to risk everything for those in need because you have the favor of the King and it’s only by abundant grace that any of us are here – and if there’s abundant grace for us, by God, there’s abundant grace for all of us.
I love this so much. It reminds me to live given too.
Let’s all remember that we were created for such a time as this.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.