On Sunday I preached on the Lord’s Prayer and mentioned how, for me, the words “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” challenge us to see every interaction and every moment as an opportunity for the Kingdom to show up. They make us ask, throughout the day, ‘What could I do right here, right now, to help the people around me experience the power and wonder of God’s kingdom and God’s dreams for our lives?’
A few weeks back I read the book of Esther in the Wesley Study Bible, which is full of notes and comments about different passages of scripture from John Wesley’s preaching and writings, and I was struck by Wesley’s remark on the most famous verse in the book: Esther 4:14. The ruthless, narcissistic royal official, Haman, has convinced King Ahasuerus to sign off on a plan to annihilate the Jews living in the kingdom of Persia. Queen Esther, secretly a Jew herself, is pressed by her uncle, Mordecai, to plead for her people before the king. But Esther’s reluctant to go to Ahasuerus—and with good reason:
“All the royal officials and the people of the royal provinces know that one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard and who has not been summoned—the death penalty. Only if the king extends the gold scepter will that person live. I have not been summoned to appear before the king for the last 30 days.” (4:11)
If Esther approaches the king to beg for the Jews to be spared, she may simply end up the first Jew to die in the coming holocaust.
But Mordecai is unmoved, and here comes to famous line:
“If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this." (4:14)
Who knows? Maybe this is the reason you were chosen as queen of Persia, out of all the beautiful young women in the running. Maybe you ascended to the throne just for this moment, “for such a time as this.”
Wesley’s comment here was simple but, I think, vital: “We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are?”
Why does God have you in the place where you are? In the community you’re in, in the workplace, the congregation, the club, the class that you’re in? I don’t believe that the Lord orchestrates all of our activities and involvements in life, but I do believe the Lord has a purpose for us, wherever we are. Have you stopped to wonder what that purpose might be?
After all, in each of those circumstances, you have the chance to make God’s Kingdom come and God’s will be done, right here on earth, just like it is in heaven. So what purpose does God have for you, right where you are? What opportunity has God given you, here and now, to show someone the grace, fellowship, peace, and love of the Kingdom?