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Pastor’s Note for September 26

“Esther before King Ahasuerus with Haman being sent to the Gallows beyond,”
(studio of) Claeissens, Anthuenis, 1577

The book of Esther doesn’t feature prominently in the Common Lectionary…possibly because God doesn’t really appear there. I suspect it was only included in the Canon due to its central role in the origins of the feast of Purim. While it is an interesting story (one which we’ll explore on Sunday), God remains silent and missing in the telling. This has always intrigued me, but I think serves to remind Christians of something very important.

While we live our everyday lives in faith, God is often silent and removed from the day-to-day routine. That does not mean that God is absent. God is always there, just sometimes in the background. I believe that God is just as active in the backgrounds of our lives as God is in the forefront of them. As people of faith we live confidently because we know that, no matter what, God is working all things to the good. This has been especially comforting to me during this pandemic. While I may not be sure how God is acting during this time, I am confident that God is acting.

One of my professors in seminary said that you could only understand predestination by looking into the rear-view mirror. In other words, you could only understand how God orders things after the fact. I’m sure that, one day, we will be able to look back on this time and see how God has been at work among us and the world.

Until then, we live in hope.


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Portland, Oregon 97205

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