"What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request?" - Esther 7:1-10
Esther is a Jewish woman living in the Persian Empire. Through beauty, intelligence, and luck, she becomes Queen. Then, not knowing his wife is Jewish, the King declares that all Jews in the empire be put to death. Esther is in a tight spot: she can keep her heritage secret (and thereby betray her faith), or she can out herself as a Jew and try to stop the murder (and thereby risk death). She chooses the latter, saves the people, defeats her enemies, and becomes a hero.
As with Esther and her faith, it can sometimes be difficult to out ourselves as Christians to friends, coworkers, even to family. Will people think we are superstitious? Backward? Stupid? Will they make assumptions about our political leanings? Will they still like us? It's not death we risk, to be sure, but the risks are—or at least feel--real nonetheless.
But perhaps the question is less about the risks we take in telling of our faith in God, and more about how the telling might help those around us. Who knows who among your friends might be saved from aimlessness, from despair, from loneliness by hearing what you believe? Esther used her position as Queen to say something good about her faith; perhaps you can use yours as friend, coworker, or family member to do the same.
God, help me to remember with Esther that though the risks of talking about you can be real, the joys you grant will always be greater still. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.