In Jeremiah 29, the Lord told the exiles in Babylon to serve out their time quielty, wisely and productively, “Therefore build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce” Jer 29:28. The truth was that God hadn’t forgotten them. They were to wait quietly for God.
Mordecai’s niece was conscripted into the king’s harem. There are plenty of reasons why this would be horrifying for a young jewish girl. However, Mordecai instructs her to keep her head down and not to draw attention to her ethnicity. Perhaps he was aware of ethnic rivalry and other trouble brewing in Susa and around the palace, and that her plight could get worse. Or perhaps he had an idea that God might move through this strange shift in events. Either way, Mordecai waited quietly and acted wisely with the opportunities and resources that arose around him. Meanwhile Esther conducted herself with the inner beauty of a godly woman.
I wonder how often we engage our work and our unsaved families this way.
I was moved by Rupa’s message on Sunday how she quietly held her faith, secretly went to church and patiently waited on God to change her sister and mother’s hearts to Jesus. Things looked bleak for Esther, and for Rupa… but God was moving. God hadn’t finished.
In 1 Cor 10, Paul continues his treatment on Christian freedom.
Paul moves from meat offered to idols to the significance of the idol feast itself—while the meat is powerless and the idol is powerless, the pagan worship feast is deadly.
Paul compares the idol feast to the Lord’s Supper. He talks about participating. Interestingly the word for participating is the koinonia word. It carries an everyday meaning of fellowship and sharing among friends, but we know that the Holy Spirit takes koinonia to another level. Koinonia is the deep communion we share and express through the Spirit because of our union with Christ.
When we share the Lord’s supper we are acting out this divine drama of koinonia in Christ and his blood shed. It declares we are in the Spirit because of Christ’s sacrifice, it declares we are ONE to one another, and it declares the Lord’s death as good news for sinful and broken people.
I wonder if we think of the Lord’s Supper in this way? The Lord’s Supper is an important ‘together drama’ that declares the gospel. As we koinonia together like this the Spirit ministers to us. (Personally thats why I don’t mind that it takes a bit of time, and quite like that we move out of our seats together as the drama engages us in more than just personal meditation in our seats. Just saying 😉
Anyway, just as the Lord’s Supper’s koinonia is powerful, so is the koinonia of the pagan festival. Paul asks, how can a Christian participate in an antiChrist drama and express fellowship with those who hate him?
We don’t often find ourselves down at the local pagan temple fellowshipping in sacrificial rituals in this day and age, but I wonder what other deadly koinonia dramas we might be unwittingly drawn into with the world?
Our God is jealous for our devotion and purity.