Sunday’s Scripture ~ Esther 4:1-17
Happy New Year Friends! I pray your celebration of Christ’s birth was meaningful and included the company of loved ones. Mine was. I am truly blessed and thankful for my blessings each and every day.
Not only have we celebrated Christmas but we have welcomed the New Year. And with the New Year comes thoughts about resolutions.
Have you made any? Will you make any?
In 2013 I took up weekly practices of hot power yoga. Now, this is not the 110 degree yoga – I do not have time for that! – this is the 85 degree yoga. Trust me…that’s hot enough…especially in the classes with 55 of your closest friends in about 300 square feet of space.
I am continuing my weekly practices in this new year. This past Thursday we began class with a few moments of meditation and our teacher – Taylor – asked the class if we had made any resolutions. She then said that she does not make resolutions anymore because when she resolved something it hardly ever came into fruition. Now she dedicates herself to a practice, an ideology, a service. She invited us to make a dedication during our practice – to what would we dedicate ourselves? A more patient practice? To trust our strength? To breathe into the discomfort rather than shy away from it? To what would we dedicate ourselves?
For some reason the idea of dedicating seems more active to me than the idea of resolving – even though they are both verbs. As I consider the act of dedicating versus the act of resolving in conversation with our Scripture text for this week, I feel that Esther first resolved and then dedicated herself. She resolved to make a decision – she would be the advocate for her people, for God’s people – and then she dedicated herself to the danger of defending her people, God’s people, before the Persian King by entering his presence without prior request.
The character of Esther takes the idea of a resolution to the next level; she moves it to the realm of dedication “for such a time as this.”
Have you made any resolutions? Will you make any resolutions? And how can you take those resolutions to the next level and move them into the realm of dedications?
Perhaps consider these statements as you marinate on potential resolutions and dedications (from a buzzfeed.com article):
1. What you will accomplish this year?
2. What you will let go of or release?
3. What or who you will embrace?
4. What or who you will honor?
5. What or who you will love?
6. What or who you will use your gifts to advocate on behalf of?
7. What you will share with the world?
Write them. Share them. Incarnate the dedications for such a time as this.
Prayer: “‘Are ye able,’ said the Master, ‘to be crucified with me?’ ‘Yea,’ the sturdy dreamers answered, ‘to the death we follow thee.’ Are ye able? Still the Master whispers down eternity, and heroic spirits answer, now as then in Galilee. Lord we are bale. Our spirits are thine. Remold them, make us, like thee, divine. Thy guiding radiance above us shall be a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.”* Amen.
*”Are Ye Able,” The United Methodist Hymnal, 530.