Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

For Such a Time as This

Esther 4:14

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

Pic of Ray 11302014Today I attended a gathering of clergy from the Laurel area.  Our common ground is our love for Jesus and our evangelistic approach to spreading the gospel.  We differ in many ways – like age – gender – race – size of our churches – and our personal stories – as we learned today as some of us shared some of our journey.

Race is a huge issue in our nation these days – as it has been for generations it seems.  Some of what the media put before us in the last month or so has heightened our awareness that racism (hatred and bigotry toward a difference race) is still alive and unfortunately in some circles – still thriving.  Racism is found in every race – and is expressed toward persons of other races.  Instead of judging a person by the content of their heart – their character – some still in 2014 judge people by the hue of their skin.  We must all be in prayer for one another and do whatever we can to destroy racism in our hearts and in our churches and communities.  Racism is sin and as such can only be overcome by Jesus and His love.

I am blessed to be the pastor of First United Methodist Church – a growing multi-racial – multi-cultural church – for such a time as this. We are diverse in many ways including race – nation of origin – age – political party – and economic condition – just to mention a few.  I believe we are here – like Esther – for such a time as this!

As Christians, as members of a diverse community of faith, we must stand with one another and not allow racism or bigotry to be aired by us or in our presence without some retort. God is a God for all people. Our church, FUMC, is a place all should feel welcome. We should be a model for the community to see – God’s people working together and respecting each other.  Our last membership class was a great example of our diversity at FUMC and we should work toward unity in all ways.

We cannot allow people to speak in a detrimental way about others. Won’t you pray and STAND up with me and let those around you know we love all of God’s children – red and yellow – black and white?

Esther was reluctant to speak up for her people. She wasn’t willing – at first – to be stretched – to be known with her people. She thought there was so much to lose – and wasn’t willing to risk it. Some of us might feel the same way when called to unity within the various circles of people that make up our church and community. Yet maybe – just maybe – it is such a time as this that we were placed in our church and in our community to speak out and to model unity.

Mordecai told Esther – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? What is God speaking to you today – through this devotional – through your reading of Scripture – through your prayer life – through your life’s experience?

Would you pray with me for unity in our church and in our community?  Pray for unity in our nation and in our world.  First Church must stand up and be counted as a place where unity in Christ is evident and where we are gathered together for Jesus in our diversity. We are different in many ways but we have one God – one faith – and one truth – found in the Holy Bible. Who will stand with me? Esther stood up and God blessed her and His people!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 10, 2014 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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