Back in February of this year, I did something that has been instrumental for me and my faith pilgrimage. Since I was a child, I have always read the Bible on a daily basis. When I was a kid, it was a big deal for me to read through the Bible, and then to announce that I had completed reading it. I must have read it through twenty times before I reached adulthood. I was privileged to have parents who encouraged that behavior, and I was certainly encouraged to read the Bible by my church.
The last few years have found me not reading as passionately as I did in my youth, and I wanted to get back into reading the Bible in a disciplined fashion. So in February, I ordered me a good reading Bible (large print!) and I set myself a new goal. During the 40 days of Lent, I promised God that I would make reading the scriptures a priority, and that I would do whatever was necessary to read the Bible through during the days of Lent. I even disclosed this to other folks, so that they would help keep me on track. With God’s help, and the gentle prodding of a few people, I finished reading the Bible from cover-to-cover in a little over a month.
I cannot explain what happens to me when I spend time in the scriptures, but something significant happens. That’s why I’m about to finish another journey through the scriptures. I’m reminded that God did what God does, and I am reminded that we flesh and blood human beings can be used by God to do things we can’t normally do.
Today’s story is about Esther. The story is full of twists and turns, but in the end, a young woman was able to save her people by risking her life for her fellow Jews. It’s a story that reads like a good novel, but it is a story of faith. When we see Esther’s faith, we are inspired to do and be our best. Her story is but one of many that we read in the Bible. I get excited all over again every time I read it.
I hope you’ll spend time in the scriptures. It really does change us for the better.
Welcome to worship. What we do here matters.