Scripture: Esther 5:1-14
Key verses: (1-8) On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace. 2As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor and he held out to her the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. 3The king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” 4Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet that I have prepared for the king.” 5Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6While they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 7Then Esther said, “This is my petition and request: 8If I have won the king’s favor, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and then I will do as the king has said.”
Reflection: The passage begins with Esther putting on her best robes and making an effort in her appearance to please the king. It’s a classic marketing strategy; she’s trying to get on the king’s good side to later ask for his help. She plans to approach him for help in saving the Jews in a planned plot from being killed. What the king doesn’t know at this point is that Esther is Jewish.
Esther is courageous and daring in inviting the king to a royal banquet. This is against all the culture as she is the one that is supposed to be invited by the king, not the other way around. She is taking a huge risk in her plan to save her people.
Fast-forwarding to today, I was recently charged by a pastor to, “Take risks! For the sake of the gospel.” While the story of Esther is being told long before Jesus’ birth, it certainly feels like Esther is taking risks for the sake of the gospel. She’s risking her life for the lives of her people. We are all one in the body of Christ.
As I continue to meditate and pray on the charge given to me, I wonder how each of us in the Myers Park community are taking risks for the sake of the gospel?
Prayer: Dear God, we pray that we are, in fact, taking risks for the sake of the gospel. Lead us into imitating your Son, Jesus Christ, and teach us how to take these risks as Esther did so long ago. Amen.
Author: Amy Speas
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].