Not Keeping Silent

Proper 21 (26) (September 30, 2012)

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50

7 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet. On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.”

“Who would do such a thing?” King Xerxes demanded. “Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?”

Esther replied, “This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy.” Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen.

Then Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Haman has set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feet tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to impale Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination.”

“Then impale Haman on it!” the king ordered. 10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided.

20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, 21 calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. 22 He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

My daughters have always been fascinated with the story of Esther.  While I was teaching at Schenectady Christian School, our upper elementary chorus did a musical based on the story of Esther.  It is a great story of the difference that just one person can make.  That person was Esther and only she was in the unique position to save her people from destruction.  She did it at great risk (she could have been killed simply for approaching the king.) Yet, she responded and made a request of the king.  In the process, she was rewarded for it and saved her people.  What would have happened if she hadn’t spoke up?  For what or who is God asking you to speak up?  What important thing could you request that might save people from hardship?  It is a sobering question in these days?  I remember an old Phil Keaggy song that asked, “Who will speak up for the little ones?” And yet this is just one of many issues of those who are not on the receiving end of justice.  Who will you speak up for today?

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