While we’re unable to gather corporately, we will be hosting various live streaming events throughout the week to keep us connected to one another. See the complete schedule here.
Tuesday, March 24 – LIVE at 10 a.m. with Pastor Dave
A Zoom Room will open following each Tuesday devotion. To sign up, please pop over to our ZOOM page. A link will also be posted on Facebook that you can follow to join in.
“Defining Moment” – ESTHER 4:13-14
Devotional – Tuesday March 24, 2020
What is your defining moment?
If you are into Hockey, or are older than I, you likely have heard the name Paul Henderson. Paul is an icon in the hockey world, and a local boy as well! A bio reads that Paul, from Kincardine, was a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He learned how to play hockey in Lucknow. A left winger, Henderson played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Flames and five in the World Hockey Association (WHA) for the Toronto Toros and Birmingham Bulls. He played over 1,000 games between the two major leagues, scoring 376 goals and 758 points. Henderson played in two NHL All-Star Games and was a member of the Memorial Cup-winning Hamilton Red Wings team as a junior. Not a bad resume overall.
Yet that is not what Paul is remembered for. His career was defined by the goal he scored on September 28, 1972, to win the Summit Series for Canada. In a series of national pride where Canada was challenging Russia in hockey, Paul not only tied up a game in the series, but went on to score the winning goal in three more games after. It was Paul who scored the winning goal with 34 seconds of play left to win the tournament for Canada. It is the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history and was the defining moment for a generation of Canadians. Decades later, Henderson remains a national hero.
What is your defining moment?
In the Bible, we are reminded of a young woman named Esther. You can read the book in one sitting (just ten chapters) that chronicles her life. Her life story revolves around a defining moment.
Esther was a young Jewish girl who found herself living in the Persian Empire. The king at the time was a man named Ahasuerus, who had a temper, and had just removed and exiled his wife for not responding to his selfish, chauvinistic, or demeaning demands. Wanting to find another wife who would now be queen, he has his attendants go out into the empire and round up the most beautiful young women to be taken into his harem where they would undergo beauty treatments and essentially audition for the role by meeting his every demand. Esther was the one who really caught his eye and gained his favour. He selected her to become his new wife, the queen. It is important to remember that at no time, did she ever reveal she was Jewish.
She had an uncle named Mordecai who had saved the king by reporting a plot of a planned assassination by two of his own servants. It was this same Mordecai who later on, got the anger of the king’s second in command, Haman. You see, Haman demanded that when he came by, people would bow to him. When Mordecai refused, it infuriated Haman, enough so that he devised a scheme that involved him deceiving the king into permitting the complete extermination of the Jewish people from the empire.
The only person who could save the Jewish people was Esther, whom the king and Haman had no idea was Jewish. She had the ability to go to the king and personally fight for her people. The only problem was that no one entered the king’s presence without an invitation, and if Esther entered his presence uninvited to bring this injustice to light, if the king didn’t extend his sceptre as a sign of welcome, she would be executed. It didn’t matter that she was the queen and his wife. She only came to him when he wanted her. The king had not invited her to come to him for the period of time ahead before Haman would act on his evil plan. The life of Esther was on the line, and she was scared to act.
Yet it was in that moment that her uncle spoke to her of stepping out of fear and into a clearly defining moment for her. He said (Esther 4:13-14):
Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
The story from here is that rather than run in fear, Esther steps out into a defining moment in her life, and as the queen. She puts her life on the line to speak to the king, and in the process saves herself, her people, and ends the terrible plot of Haman. This week read the book of Esther for the rest of the story. It is quite amazing!
Esther stepped into a moment that would truly define her. What is your defining moment?
Today is a defining moment for us who follow Jesus isn’t it? Our lives have changed a lot in the last couple weeks. How we meet as the church has changed. How we live our daily lives have changed. Many of us are working from home, if we are working at all. We are all keeping our distance from others, staying within our own homes, and living in isolation. People are struggling with being apart.
People all around us are fearful. As the numbers of those who are infected raise, and the government comes down with more protectionary measures that affect our lives, our families, our ability to live and provide, the anxiety and fear climbs.
People around us are losing their jobs. People around us are unable to go out to get themselves food and provisions. People are worried about loved ones getting ill.
The reality is that there are a lot of challenges in front of us that could cause us to retreat in fear, rather than be who God has called us to be. What if this is our defining moment as the people of God, as followers of Jesus, as the church? While it threatens to drive us further apart and hold us back from being what we think is the church, what if this whole time is what we need to actually define us? What if this is our defining moment as the church to step out and be who God is calling us to be to a hurting world clearly in need?
Yes, we have natural fears and anxieties. Yes, there is a lot of unknowns that are in front of us. Yes, we may even be confused about how we can even be the church in these days. Yes, we may even doubt that we can share the hope of Jesus because we are all so isolated (or so it seems). But what if this is actually our defining moment to share the hope, light, and love of Jesus Christ, all be it in a new and different way?
Remember that while our methods may change, the message is still the same. As I said yesterday, how we do church looks different, where we meet looks different, but the church will still be the church. Regardless of how we say it, we are still all about Jesus Christ.
Also, in this time we are even seeing record high engagement with our church. People are searching for hope and peace in this time of uncertainty and anxiety. And the best news is that we have the Lasting Hope and Calming Peace that people need. I read a quote yesterday by a local Christian pastor, leader, and blogger. He said “in the midst of crisis, there is an opportunity to share the hope that comes through Christ to millions that weren’t interested in the conversation just a few weeks ago.”
What is our defining moment?