How Esther and Peter helped me fall in love with the church
I spoke at the Oak Harbor Christian School this morning and had a mini-Purim celebration. Mr. Z, the principal, was getting nervous when I was practicing our “boo-hiss” for Haman with almost one hundred first through fifth graders, but we made it through. That’s ten messages from 1 Peter and Esther – ten opportunities to hear God speak to us exiles.
What I heard was that God is building us into a “spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) and that “there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.” (Esther 8:17). The call to suffering in 1 Peter and the attack from Haman in Esther have the effect not of driving God’s people apart but of connecting them more solidly together.
Yes, Esther and 1 Peter helped me know God’s love for his people and our connections to each other. And now I’m studying the Upper Room Discourse, chapters 13-17 of John’s gospel, and the message is the same. That is why Jesus begins not with a deep theological discussion of the atonement, but with a call to serve each other:
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed you feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:12)
This Lent season, as we prepare for the power of the cross and the wonder of the resurrection, let’s not forget to follow our Lord in washing some feet.
Keep the resurrection faith, Pastor Doug Fakkema, Anacortes CRC