Our church children are studying the story of Esther in these weeks before Lent, coming into contact with one of the great heroes of the Bible. Esther was a girl surrounded by women, a woman in a man’s world, a Jew threatened with genocide at the hands of Gentiles, a person of faith who didn’t even have the name of God to sustain her (did you know that God is never mentioned in the book of Esther?). But she rose up in hope, through a mixture of blessing and curse, with human power and divine purpose to save her people and change the world in “just such a time as this.” That is her testament to you and me. That is the hope extended to us, all of us who often feel overmatched by the challenges that face us. Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu leader and active in the interfaith movement of the 19th Century, wrote this:

“When I Asked God for Strength

 God Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face

When I Asked God for Brain and Brawn

 God Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve

When I Asked God for Happiness

God Showed Me Some Unhappy People

When I Asked God for Wealth

God Showed Me How to Work Hard

When I Asked God for Peace

God Showed Me How to Help Others

God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted

God Gave Me Everything I Needed.”

Everything you need. That’s what God has given you just as God gave it to Esther at a time when all the Hebrew people were faced with the threat of genocide. Everything you need, that’s what you have. So perhaps you are enough – you in particular – you just the way you are. Perhaps you are just what is needed for just such a family as yours, just such a church as ours, just such a job as you have, just such a community as this, just such a time as now.

Your friend and fellow minister, Rev. Steve Savides

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