Who am I, where am I , what's for lunch?
Hi, I’m Mordecai. Well, I was, I mean I am , but I’m not any longer; well, no longer here that is, but there, if you see what I mean. I guess I’m not making much sense yet, but it’s hard after all these centuries to get the old brain working again. Once I had an astute mind, I was a keen observer of the devious workings of my society, and I was a subversive! But all done in God’s name I assure you.
Sigh, I guess I should start again. I’m Mordecai, and you can read about me in the book of Esther. I’m circa 360BC, a Jew, and I guess you’d say I am old. But as one wise man said, there’s nothing new under the sun. From what I see today it’s just the same. I mean, well, we never had the internet and airplanes. But we did have pornography, drugs, bribery and corruption, and murder – we even had beauty parlors and the beginnings of a feminist movement! So, I guess there is nothing new under the sun.
And back then I stepped forward into the same situations. I don’t want to boast, but I was really good at strategy! I saved the Jews from massacre. I rose from someone who sat at the gate to being second in command under King Xerxes. I worked hard for the good of the people, and I cared for the peace and prosperity. But I did it for God, and I did it with Esther; a brave, obedient, and quick thinking woman who knew how and when to take the initiative. I think maybe you need more of us nowadays, no?
Because I despair when I look at your city; the leaders arrogant, scheming, living for the moment, no thought of where they’re headed, seeking all the time for their “rights”, striving to get and to keep, standing on their proud principles, living in a comfort zone. And, oh, the blindness and hypocrisy of it all, it’s stupendous! On one hand you profess admiration of Jesus (Oh yes, I’ve met Him in the intervening years) and you venerate the likes of Mandela – those people who sacrificed! On the other hand, is there no one in this city who will stand up for God’s purposes despite the personal cost!
We live in time, with a long past and a far future; God is there, way back when and way far forward, and He sees a bigger picture. And He is asking YOU to understand that you are part of that bigger picture, that you have a place, a role, a task. Because He made you to be, and He made you to do, and He places each of us into this time.
So, in the weeks to come I’ll muse more about the real Jesus here and now in the people of StB, and I’ll reflect on this Jesus that we say is in us, and about how He’s been hidden in our lives. Your own poets ask, will we be “happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness, and smiles to hide our pain?” And will it be that “He turns His face to me and I kiss it just to betray Him once again?”
I want to write so much more to you, about the Jesus I find daily in life, and that I find hidden in StB. But more than that, I want also to tell our own stories about finding the Jesus in our life! So I have asked some of you to start telling their stories, how Jesus is found in each and every day of their lives, what they find attractive about Him, and why they are sitting right next to you today! Will you listen to them; or will you speak your own story? Will we together raise up Jesus’ name, and make Him visible to this city?