Advent 2019- 2 stripped ….generous in time ….for such a time as this

6 Dec

Advent 2019- 2 stripped

….generous in time

for such a time as this…

“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” – Esther 4: 13-14

Luke 2 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 11-12

Esther is an orphan, a jewess in an alien, a foreign culture. Chosen by contest due to her great physical beauty, she becomes the ruling society’s Queen.

Stripped of her identity, her home with guardian uncle Mordecai and her community, Esther is bathed in earthy beauties. Robes and fragrances; glances and deference. She moves from orphan to consort; from young girl to married woman. In her height, her time of physical beauty, she becomes, is, a Queen.

In His heavens, Jesus dwells eternally in a loving community: Father and Spirit communicate and touch, embrace and enjoy each other continually. They are family.Jesus and family is Lord of all, heavens and earth; cosmos and spiritual beings. He is King. But…

He comes, He chooses, voluntarily come to earth. And He comes as the least of the powerless- baby. Jesus takes off His heavenly community and becomes a homeless child. Stripped of heaven, He binds himself in time, to refugee parents, to earth. To us.

No longer in control, as a child, a newborn, he can only receive- milk and mother’s song; heat from animals on a cave manger; a father’s care. Stripped of His heaven and power, Jesus models this, His first gift: the ability, the acceptance to receive.

He models Esther’s story of receiving.

Advent is about beginnings, first gifts, and Esther – as a trope, a foreshadowing of Christ Jesus, also models this first gift. She is stripped of her past and then receives the position of Queen. In a moment her life is transformed, changed. She receives so then at the right time she can give.

She enjoys the pleasures of her kingdom. Yet, she is in a position to save her past, her Jewish heritage from the genocide of Haman, the country’s prime minister. She is in the time, the perfect moment, as Mordecai reminds her, for this-her people’s salvation.

The shepherds are told that today they have a saviour born, given to them. A gift, a Saviour, comes. Today, a time and child is given. And He is warped in swaddling clothes, clothes chosen dnd blessed by His mother Mary- holy anointed, yet humble clothes. Stripped of the heavens, the baby Jesus is covered with earthly sounds and smells; human fallible love and joy. But …Why- this time, this gift?

To model salvation. Salvation is a received gift. By faith Esther approaches the King though going to him it summoned exposes her to possible death. By, and with, faith she moves. She approaches and is received.

The man Jesus also moves. He moves miracles and teaching; listening and living. He models receiving and giving to his disciples. Then He moves them to move: He to send them out in the advent of their ministry in Matthew 10. His last and primary instruction to them is,

8 ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.’

This is salvation’s message: receive and give, freely.

Esther, in her journey, is adorned with earthly riches and power. She first receives.

Jesus’ in His Advent journey, His choice is to lose all His heavens for us.

Esther’s story mirrors Jesus in reverse: she is adorned, He stripped. She receives; He discards. Yet…

…both, after freely receiving, Esther her throne, Jesus His earth and humanity, give.

And they both give the gift of salvation. Esther of her people in a specific time; Jesus to His people

of eternal time.

This Advent let go of all that you hold and is holding you. Let go and receive anew; meditate on receiving in this present moment the stories of salvation. Past and present; future and eternal.

For such a time as this, strip yourself and receive Him. He gives.

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