In This Issue
- Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Announcements & Upcoming Events
- Outreach Opportunities & Updates
message from rev. whitt
Dear St. Luke family,
This Sunday we’ll look at the Book of Esther. It’s a wonderful story, full of intrigue and humor. It’s the basis for the late winter/early spring Jewish festival of Purim. A curious aspect we’ll explore this Sunday is that, in the entire book, God is not mentioned once. My sermon is entitled, “Was God Involved?” It’s an important question: Is God involved in the events of our lives, either the small coincidences or the major turns? If so, how do we know?
So many Bible stories make God’s activity obvious. God has actual conversations with Abraham telling him to pick up and move his family and everything else to a promised land. God speaks to Moses through a burning bush and gives him the explicit instruction: “Go tell Pharaoh to let me people go.” God parts the Red Sea, and then hands Moses the Law on stone tablets. God speaks through prophets, warning of the consequences of injustice. Through Jesus, God heals the sick and feeds the multitudes, and finally God raises Jesus from the dead to show dramatically that nothing, not human cruelty or even death, can stop God’s love.
Esther, on the other hand, witnesses to the power of a good story to give us hope. Rather than succumbing to despair, Esther — like the carnival-esque festival of Purim it inspires — encourages us to meet terror with ridicule. Imagine that: Humor as one of the tools in God’s toolbox! Former political speech writer John Lovett writes, “If you can make someone laugh about something that your opponent or your opposition thinks, that means you’ve done a really good job of highlighting what’s wrong with their argument or their position.”
Satiric storytelling is not the only response to oppression we can or should muster, but the book of Esther reminds us it is indeed a valid response, one that helps us hold fast to our conviction that the grace-filled power of God ultimately will overcome the destructive powers of this world.
The best line in the book of Esther is the holy challenge Mordecai gives to all of us when he says to his niece, Esther, “Who knows? Perhaps you are here, at this place and time, for such a time as this.”
Perhaps you are here, at this place and time, for such a time as this.
Don’t forget to register for the gala dinner on October 2. Everyone is invited, regardless of what you can or can’t donate. There will be both indoor and outdoor seating.
See you on Sunday!
Grace and peace,