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December 9, 2018, 12:00 AM

God can use you to help save the world


Good Morning. Grace and peace to you from the triune God. May the words on my lips and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to God.

You are a light and lights are designed not to be put under baskets and hidden away from the world, that is the second half of an interesting mixed metaphor in our gospel today. The first half of that same mixed metaphor is that you have an essence and if you throw away that essence then you become effectively useless. This is then combined with the story of Esther. Esther is interesting because it is the story of God putting someone in an unlikely position and then using that position to save a whole lot of people, in this case the entirety of the Hebrew people under the rule of King Ahasuerus, who seems to have been ruling much of the Middle East. So, we have the unlikely hero, using the light God gave them, by being exactly who they are and not conforming to the world. Yep, that is the God I know and love.

I could stop by simply noting that God will use the essence of who you are, especially when it seems a little out of step with the world, in the places that you find yourself, to do amazing work. You have a light inside of you from God, and an essence that is you. There are things about yourself that you might want to minimize, dilute or shift because they don't seem to be in keeping with the rest of the world. I am not suggesting that you seek to be gruff and abrasive but the reality is, if that is your natural character, I believe from all that I have read in the bible that God will use that to save other people. I believe that gruff person, who seems abrasive to nearly everyone they meet, can be used by God, in their gruffness to save someone else. I still think that the essence and nature of God points to us being kinder and gentler and that God will find more uses for that but it does not undo that if gruff is just who you are, if that is the essence of your saltiness, then God will use gruff to change the world. If your essence is a little stand offish, if your essence is huggy, if your essence is brilliance, if your essence is reserved, if your essence is artsy, if your essence is somewhere in the LGBTQIA+ alphabet soup, if your essence is musical, if your essence is …... well whatever that essence is, God can use it. That does not say we should fail to develop our character or not worry about ethical living, no those are essential traits of being a Christian, but it can take on many flavors and God will use that flavor no matter what it is to help save the world.

I could have stopped at the end of the first paragraph, with, we have the unlikely hero, using the light God gave them, by being exactly who they are and not conforming to the world. That however ignores the reality that God uses our light in the unlikely positions that we find ourselves. Esther, as one of the Hebrew people was an unlikely candidate for queen, but there she found herself and there God used her. You may look around you and think how can my position in the world ever be of any use to God and yet I will assure you that if you will stick to your life of prayer and faith you will see God use all of who you are in all of the places you find yourself to save people.

I one day made a phone call to a person I had not talked to in years, who had been my employee when I worked in another state, who now themselves lived in another state just to be friendly. What I found out some years later is that one phone call happened to be on a day when they were contemplating suicide and they are maybe alive today because I made that one call. You never know when or where God is going to use you to help save some small part of the world. You never know how God is going to use your prior experience to help save the world. You never know what weird situation you are going to find yourself in and suddenly also then start to see God use that position to help save the world. You never know what God is going to do that will allow you and others to testify to the grace that is our Lord.

I could have stopped by repeating the theme of the unlikely hero, in an unlikely position, using that oddity that helps to make them unique to save some body or a whole group of people and maybe added that sometimes we help bring about physical salivation and sometimes we help bring people spiritual salvation. I was reflecting on the eclectic group of people scattered around the globe that I consider friends. I was reflecting also yesterday on the eclectic group of people who see me as their spiritual leader. I was reflecting yesterday on the wonderful and diverse places that I have visited or lived in. And I can tell you that God has used all of this to help bring salvation to the world. It does not always bring about the body that I can see in my minds eye in the places that I can conceive of, but in looking backwards over my life, the using of the whatever it is that is your essence, in whatever position you find yourself, as the light to banish the darkness, rings true in my head.

This rings true in my head not just for who I find myself to be and the places in which I find myself but for those around me. As I reflect on the people I know, who learn to embrace the nature and essence of who they are, God uses that uniqueness to reach people that others could not. As I reflect on some of the unlikely places I have been and people I have known, I can see how God has used them in those spaces to save the people around them. As I reflect on the people I know who dilute their very essence, I see that they become far less effective. It is in our diverse positions, our diverse natures, our diverse individuality, come together, working together, helping the common good, that I have seen God work incredible miracles in ways one could not have predicted.

All of this to say you may find that you are part of the too weird for the weird kid crowd and if that is who you are, you need to embrace it and learn how to live it and learn how to be that person that you are because you are meant to be a light to shining into the darkness, knowing that light will always over come the darkness. If you are wondering why this weird and unexpected placement in the world, rest assured God will use it for the benefit of the world, if we will but let God do it. You may find that you are not where you thought you would be, you may find that your life plan did not unfold the way you preconceived it, you may find yourself living in better or lesser places than you had in the fantasy world of your imagination and yet in all of those, God will use you for the betterment and salvation of the world.

My suggestion is learn to love your little quirks. Learn not to dilute your essence and nature. Learn that the odd place you find yourself is just the very best place you can be. Because God will use the place you are and the quirks of the people around you to help save you even while God is using your quirks in the less than likely space you find yourself to help save others around you.  Thus we have the unlikely hero, using the light God gave them, in the places they find themselves, being exactly who they are and not necessarily conforming to the world. That is the God I know and love and wish to share with you today. Amen.


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