A Better King and a Better Story - Sunday May 14th
In an increasingly secular and pluralistic culture, God can seem very absent. How are you supposed to live with faith and courage when that's the case?
The Book of Esther, which we begin this Sunday Morning, was written to answer just that question. You can read sermon summary notes below.
In the Evening Service we will continue to look at the Letter to the Romans: Faith comes through Hearing
A Better King and A Better Story
What is a book that doesn't mention God doing in the Bible? Because it describes what life is like - life when God seems hidden or even absent.
A Strong King
King Ahasuerus throws a massive party. It was designed to tell his people that he has power and wealth - and that they should support his plan to invade Greece. He was a man who seemingly had everything, but still wanted more. Money and power can be addictive. Like him, in a world where God seems absent, we can think that the only way to live is to get more.
The king's power and wealth shows how vulnerable God's people are. We can feel the same way in our own cultures. But the writer wants us to see how shallow this all is.
A Weak King
It isn't just money and power that has the king's heart - sex does too. He has a harem and he wants to use his wife to strengthen his own position. But Queen Vashti refuses his request to come. By saying 'no' she shows how little power he really has. Even though we cannot see him, God humbles a proud king - and he uses his wife to do it.
God can seem hidden and absent, until we start to see how he is at work in our lives through the 'yesses' and the 'noes'.
First the king, then his counsellors, escalate the king's marital problem. We see the irony of human power. Wealth and power seem so attractive because we think they can give us control of our lives - but only God has that power.
A Better King
We all long for a better king. That is why politicians disappoint, or we hope they won't. Christ is the perfect king - the only one who can handle ultimate power. When we know his love for us we will say 'yes' to whatever he calls us to do.
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