Just before today's Gospel reading Jesus has been chased out of his hometown, actually nearly being thrown off a cliff. Today he is in Galilee preaching and he heals an individual who has a demon in him - ostensibly the only "thing" in that area that recognizes who and what he is: the "Holy One of God." Jesus hushes the demon up, but we are told very clearly that this man is going to shake the world by his presence.
The ending of our two Hebrew Testament selections indicate also, quite clearly, that God works in God's own ways in saving us. In both Esther and Judith, the Jewish people's saving redemption come from the work of individuals thought by that culture and time to be less than human: one an orphan who becomes a concubine to a non-Jewish king, and the other a widow who makes herself up to look the part of a prostitute. Both these souls save thousands through their actions and faith and belief.
Unexpected and unrecognized is how God, so often, works in this world. Scripture clearly tells us, highlighted today, that we need to think about where we aren't looking to find God's work, God's surprising encounters with our world.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.