At our most recent meeting, the Common Good RVA planning team–before rolling up our sleeves and digging into the logistics of planning this year's conference–spent some time looking at an example of a female-male collaboration in the Bible: Esther and Mordecai.
(The theme for this year's conference is Women+Men: At Work for the Common Good, so these sorts of partnerships are on the brain for us.)
In the fourth chapter of Esther we find Mordecai in bitter despair over royal official Haman's plan "to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children" (Esther 3:13). Mordecai sends word to his cousin Esther, also a Jew and one of King Ahasuerus's queens, to go to the king and plead on behalf of her people. Esther refuses at first, citing the life-or-death rules of seeking the king's audience at court. Mordecai responds:
Mordecai's words convict Esther and challenge her to take action–action that is ultimately successful, despite the true danger it could present (see: "If I perish, I perish" in verse 15).
Most of us will likely never see or know dangers like those faced by Esther and Mordecai, but we will face choices of a similar tone: What am I being called to do in this time in this place? What am I doing to advance the common good, to advance God's Kingdom where I am right now?
Those are big questions, but just like Esther and Mordecai, we aren't left to face life alone. Mordecai encouraged and challenged Esther. Esther acted and got justice for her people. We too, as a body of believers, have the opportunity for this kind of kingdom-changing collaboration.
Women+Men: At Work for the Common Good
Saturday, February 11th
Union Theological Seminary (3401 Brook Road)
$12 through February 5th; $15 beginning February 1st
(Registration fee includes a $5 lunch voucher. Childcare available for $10 per child if you register by February 5th.)