Once upon a time, there was a King who had a beautiful but disobedient wife. Once, when he threw a big party for his friends, he asked her to come so he could show her off. When she didn’t show up, the King got mad and started thinking about getting another wife. And so…
If you want to hear the rest of the story you have to pick up your Bible and read the book of Esther. Without spoiling the story for you, I will tell you that Esther is a story about someone who dared to let people know who she was despite putting herself in the path of danger.
What difference would it make in our lives if people really knew who we were? I suspect that, for most of us, it would not put us at risk of losing our lives, as it did for our heroine Esther, but still there could be other consequences to deal with. Have you ever been in a situation where you really did not want people to know who you were? I admit sometimes it is much easier to be a casual observer to what is going on around us than to stick our necks out and speak out. Let’s say you are at work and people are saying hurtful things about a particular group of people based on their race, ethnic background or gender. Do we just nod in tacit agreement and join in the “ain’t it awful” game that is being played out before us or do we step forward and dare to disagree with the status quo? This scenario is played out every day at work, school and sadly even in our churches. If we are serious about our spiritual lives taking a priority then we, too, need to say who we are—followers of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who is the greatest in the kingdom and Jesus takes a young child in his arm and says to them, Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me (Mark 9:37). Now you need to remember that in ancient days children were not treated much better than the dogs on the street. They were completely at the mercy of other adults. Who are the “children” in our culture today and how are they being treated? More importantly, are we welcoming them and inviting them in to both our lives and the Church? There are those out there today that would probably go along with any plan that excludes these “children” and it is important that we have the spiritual strength to declare who we are. Now, I invite you to read the exciting book of Esther for what Paul Harvey says is “the rest of the story.”