One of the things I get confused by with the lectionary readings during the season of Easter is the fact that they make the first reading from Acts throughout the season. Two things strike me as odd about it: 1) the Old Testament is huge, why cut it out?, and 2) basically everything in the book of Acts is post-Pentecost, so aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves here?
Thus, a quick look at a favorite Old Testament Story of mine. The phrase that keeps popping up for me in many conversations is the quote, “You were meant for such a time as this.” These were the words of affirmation and encouragement by Mordecai to his niece Esther, who is Queen of Persia. Mordecai discovers a plot by Haman in the royal court to make a plan to kill all the Jews in Persia, and Esther is the only person who can stop it, as she has the Emperor’s ear. A terrifying place to be! Either you risk your life by manipulating the court to ensure this evil plot is thwarted, or risk being killed if it gets implemented! Naturally, Esther finds the courage and fortitude, thwarts Haman, and he gets executed, rather than the Jews. She truly was meant “for such a time as this.”
It’s easy to lose sight of what we’re moving toward when we’re afraid of what we’re called to do. It’s hard to keep going when you feel like there’s no safety or support system. That said, God has a funny way of showing up in the most unexpected ways to support us. Suddenly, when you’ve done your part in spite of how daunting it seems that it would succeed, the things you’ve been hoping for come to pass. That little favor you did for strangers brings money to the church. That brutally difficult task brings you to the next stage of life well-positioned for success. That trying time redefining your life brings unexpected freedom and blessings.
There are myriads of ways we can discover how and in what ways we are meant “for such a time as this.” The fun part is exploring that, internally, with God, and with each other. One thing is for certain, we are all meant “for such a time as this.”