We are drawing towards the end of our Story series at the moment, and this Sunday we are looking at the story of Esther. The book of Esther happens in the Old Testament, and there are parallels between it and the story of Daniel.
Esther becomes queen and is a wise and gracious partner to the king. But king Ahasuerus makes one of his counsel, Haman, a prominent prince of the realm..clearly the power goes to Haman’s head and he manages to obtain a decree that all should bow before him. Mordecai, a friend of Esther, refuses and will only bow to his God. This enrages Haman who subsequently plots to exterminate all of the Jews in the kingdom, as well as hanging Mordecai publicly. But through Mordecai’s friendship and loyalty to the king, as well as Esther’s courage, the king is made aware of Haman’s intentions and Haman becomes the hangman’s focus.
Power and Influence
Mordecai and Esther were in the right circles, she was queen! But they had little in the way of influence or power…they were relatively ordinary people in the kingdom. How often do we feel like that? There is so much happening in our lives, in the world, which we often feel we can have no influence on, powerless as the world carries on around us. Esther and Mordecai show us the bravery to stand up and do something, to go against the flow and seemingly impenetrable walls can make a difference…some big, some small.
Ebola is making headlines at the moment for all of the wrong reasons, and I just as much as many feel pretty powerless to do anything about it…the news will have you thinking it is rampantly out of control, and it will run it’s course as an epidemic. But we have made a difference already…our good friend Abs lives in Sierra Leone, along with our friends and colleagues at Regent Road Baptist church. So through EBC, Abs and RRBC we have been able to raise some money which meant RRBC could purchase some much needed and targeted sanitation equipment and education to the areas which desperately need it. You can read about it here. Small actions, from a small group of people in a town thousands of miles away…but making an impact in some of the most difficult times and situations.
We at EBC have also set up a thing called Storehouse, where we are able to distribute furniture, white goods, clothing, bedding and food to those who need it most. We have a van, we have generous donations, and despite living in a relatively affluent society, a regular stream of needs…we have furnished empty houses, bought ovens for families who have been living out of a microwave, food boxes, beds, tables… Small things which make a huge difference in these people’s lives.
Ordinary to Extraordinary
The video looks at some well known people from history who have stood against the wind and made a difference, despite adversity, social opinion and difficult backgrounds. We may not have the same fame or impact as most of these people, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make an impact, however small. The two stories above are just a small part of many similar stories which are happening all the time. We are a relatively small church, but we have a big impact on our local community as well as the wider world.
Just choosing to do something, to try and tackle a need, to be aware of what needs to be done and what can be done means we can go from being ordinary to extraordinary in all that we do.