"Mordecai told [the servants] to reply to Esther, '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' " (Esther 4:13-14).
Esther was in a difficult situation. She had the king's ear, but only at great risk to her life. What would she choose: to help her people or keep silent? Most of our daily decisions aren't so dire. Moving for a job or making a medical decision are possibly more so.
Church life is no different. Some things are pressing. Some things are less so. At the congregation I serve, St. Martin Lutheran in Sugarland, Texas, I've heard it said that when there is a need, the person with the right gifts and skill sets steps up, "for such a time as this."
This year I've seen many Esthers take the leap into ministry. At. St. Martin folks have brought healthy snacks on Sunday mornings for hospitality. An energetic staff has created a welcoming atmosphere in the nursery. The Esthers have included women and men, ministry team leaders, church school teachers, council members and more. Like Queen Esther, we are surrounded by congregational members who have taken on seemingly small or large roles as if to say: "God has given me the gifts and I can use those gifts in the ministry of God's work right here and right now." As a result, we at St. Martin have been "Esthered!"
I learned this saying — "to be Esthered" — from our office manager, Scheffie. She came to serve our church exactly this way, in a much needed leadership role. Her unique gifts and God-given abilities are serving our congregation's needs and helping it to grow and thrive. Scheffie is an Esther in our midst.
But she first came to us as a visitor with her family, seeking a church to belong and serve. It wasn't long before her call to serve included joining our staff. Her family's connection to our church and her communication skills have had a huge impact on the connectedness of our congregation. Today she is an invaluable asset as we involve new and longtime members in exciting ministries.
Any good leader recognizes that the gifts of the leaders around them "make them look good." All the Esthers we find serving "at such a time as this," make our church look good. As we continue to serve and love all our neighbors, so that by God's grace lives are transformed, thank you all of you Esthers. Thank you for stewarding your resources, including your time and money, in service to God so that together we can touch people's lives.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers