By Fred Anderson
It was a one mile drive to church growing up, but it took an hour to get there. My dad would stop and talk to the man selling newspapers on the corner. They laughed and joked for several minutes together. Next, we went to the SEM food pantry to encourage the workers and help stock shelves. Then, we stopped at our local Krispy Kreme to box leftover donuts for between church services. We might even drop by the nearby Pony Keg and wish them a blessed Sunday. I have to admit, I complained at times. “Why are we going out of the way? What’s taking so long?” Dad simply replied, “God has placed us here for this.” Going to church meant going out of the way to love people. God has sovereignly placed you, regardless of your circumstances. I was learning up close what it means to be close to God. Loving God and loving others is rarely an easy task. It often calls us out of our comfort zone and away from ourselves.
I can’t help but to think that this same sentiment was echoed by a senior saint in ancient times. When the nation of Israel faced a desperate crisis, it was the older, wiser Mordecai who, out of his own deep well of faith in God, challenged Esther to a greater faith and action than she had ever imagined. Having walked with God in difficult circumstances over many years, his inspiring words were deeply rooted in his own confidence in the sovereignty of God. At a time when it would have been easier to give in to fear, Mordecai’s words galvanized Esther’s resolve and courage, and gave her faith to take the next faithful step in trusting God. The deliverance of God as a result was stunning.
I believe Mordecai and my dad would say the same thing to us today.
“Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
May the Church lean in today to engage a world in need. Who can you call? Where can you give online? How will you worship? Where can you embrace the needs of others?