Are you one of those who was inspired by Sunday’s talk? Perhaps you found that your heart was nodding, “Yes” as Pastor Marco unpacked the story of Esther. Did you discover your story in her story? The King of kings chose an orphaned girl named Esther to be his queen. But before she could be in his presence, she had to spend a year of preparation.
“Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments.” Finally, she was presented to the king and the “king loved Esther … and was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen. To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.”
Imagine that, during a busy day on a bustling city street, someone dressed in vibrant, bright purple were to suddenly appear in front of you and cry out, “Good afternoon, your Majesty!” The purple figure then gracefully genuflects. Would you look around to see if you had accidentally stumbled onto the set of Game of Thrones: “New Bedford Edition?” I can be fairly sure that you wouldn’t take the comment seriously, you may even be embarrassed by being singled out in such a bizarre fashion!
So imagine that this lilac-garbed individual, on the crowded street, now hands you a letter with your name on it in glowing golden type. It reads, “From: The Ruler of the Universe, Creator of Everything, Sustainer of All That Exists To: My Dear Child. I request your presence (yes, you) at the Universe’s largest birthday party ever. Date: One Year From Now on Your Birthday.” A hush falls across the crowded street.
You stare at this mysterious stranger. You’re unsure how to reply. Stammering, you blurt out “Why-why-why me?”
As if reading your mind, the stranger hands you a second letter. It says only, “Because I like spending time with you and it’s about time I make this official. In one year’s time I’m adopting you, and at that point, we can meet face to face.”
“But-but-but,” you continue stammering, “a year from now? What do I do for a year?”
Again, that mind-reading-purple-dressed-person-with-a-knack-for-tossing-letters hands you a third letter which says this: “For the next year, care for widows and orphans.”
You blink a few times and then take your eyes off the mysterious letter-giving stranger to look around the eerily quiet city street. What you see stuns you. Every single person has someone in purple kneeling in front of them. You can tell that each is reading their third letter. If you could read theirs, you’d notice that one says “Spend time with that elderly gent, Ralph, that you met at Whalers Cove,” while another letter says “forgive your Mom and give her a phone call every morning to tell her that you love her.” In fact, each letter is as different as one snowflake from another.
Whereas many people are smiling (or looking honored, humbled or excited), other people’s faces say that they are less than pleased by the offer. You overhear one man saying, “I’m far too busy for this nonsense.” Your attention snaps towards that vexed voice to see who is “too busy” when suddenly the street is empty of purple dressed strangers.
The noise of the day returns as if nothing extraordinary has happened. Startled people suddenly start walking again, and you wonder to yourself, “Was that real?” You turn to walk down the block when you see your neighbor, the one who lost their spouse last year, step onto the street.
On Sunday did God ask you for a year of your life or was it just your imagination and a moment of Pastor-Marco-inspired emotion.
You’re going to have to decide which it was.
What happens when God asks for one year of your life? What happens that year? What will you be like on day 365? More importantly, will you tell Jesus “Yes!”