Speaker: Pastor Dave Hwang
Scripture: Esther 8:15-17
"When Mordecai left the king's presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them."
The place of Community in our Faith
Esther: The farthest geographically and chronologically.
God is the Preserver and Protector of His people.
Purim= Life together is celebratedIdentity as the community of God
Esther highlights the fact that Israel is God's people
Reminded of the calling to live in community and for community.
Became ethnocentrism- national pride
God's community building: Every nation, tribe, people and language
Pentecost Sunday= A modern day Purim
God Himself is a community, in the Trinity
Three beings in perfect unity with one another.
Our primary goal and identity is to build community.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Build His community
"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
This rock= the truth of Jesus' Lordship, the foundation of the community of faith
There is an instinctive knowledge of the need for community.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Jesus did this for the sake of community.
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
Our lot in life (Our Purim): To build His community in all nations