Friends, my apologies for being out of touch at times this weekend. I got back to Omaha last night. The retreat was invigorating and challenging, and I know many others who felt it as well.

Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Esther‬ ‭4‬:‭14.

For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.

I know the story of Esther but will admit I have never studied it deeply. Esther, a Jewish woman, was chosen by the king as one of his wives. When political intrigue threatens her people, she has the chance to save them, but only by disobeying the king’s edict, which could be punished by death.

How often do we face something this serious with consequences this severe? For most of us the answer is “never”. We have more opportunities to speak out about things than ever before in history. Like Esther, we must be willing to face the challenges of this world in order to do God’s will.

We may never be called to face earthly death for our faith, but it is and always will be a call to eternal life or eternal separation from God. Even when it is difficult or dangerous, we must be willing to stand against evil. God is with us always, and through His love we are strengthened.

Heavenly Father, help us to see what is important in eternity and strive for it, sharing Your love with the world. May we be brave and follow Jesus on the path You have set for us. Amen.

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