The story of Queen Esther is one of my favorites in all of scripture. It is a story about a woman who bravely stood in the gap for her people- and saved the lives of thousands.
At the time of the exile, Jews were living in Susa under the authority of King Xerxes. Xerxes sent for women all over the Kingdom to come to the palace so that he could choose his new queen.
Esther, a Jewish woman, captured the king's heart and was chosen among the women to become the new queen (although he did not know she was Jewish).
Shortly after this, an order went out for the Jews to be killed (a secret, conniving plan set up by one of the king's officials Haman- because Esther's Uncle Mordecai refused to bow to him)... and now Esther had to make a decision.
Would she risk her life by going into the king's chamber without permission in order to save her people, God's people!?
We read in Esther 4 that Mordecai told Esther, "Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?"
And Esther responded by saying,
"I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die."
Esther's faith in God and her commitment to His people saved Israel! As Ann Voskamp puts it in her devotional, God calls us to "Use the life you've been given to give others life."
Right now there are people all around us in need. Physical needs, spiritual needs. Needy people who need God's love expressed in real and tangible ways. Needy people who need to hear the message of salvation that is possible for ALL people because God sent His Son on Christmas.
This Christmas- as we gather together to celebrate with family and friends, share gifts and meals together- may we not forget about those who are in need...
May we use our lives to give others life!