Too often we overlook the biblical heroine Queen Esther, a good-hearted, beautiful, and truthful young Jewess of the 5th century B.C. Although alienated from her homeland Israel and a stranger in the vast Persian empire of Artaxerxes that spanned, India, Persia, and Babylon, God’s providence elevated Esther to the throne beside the mighty king. Ironically, though, the king did not know Esther was Jewish, and he rashly decreed a slaughter of the Jews. As the story unfolds, Esther’s Uncle Mordecai pleads with Esther to intercede before the king on behalf of her people, saying, “If you remain silent at this time, . . . you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Indeed, Esther had been destined “for such a time as this.” She bravely stepped forward at the risk of her own life, saved her nation, and defeated their foes.
In the story, we learn three things about Esther: She was good, she was beautiful, and she was true: good to her people, beautiful to her king, and true to her God. Do those three words – good, beautiful, and true – remind you of anything? They should; they are the very core of a classical, Christian education.
About fifty years after Queen Esther’s death, the Greek philosopher Plato was born. Plato spent his life in search of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True. Eventually, his quest led him to abandon polytheism – belief in many “gods” – and move toward monotheism – belief in one God. Legend has it that the great theologian St. Augustine said, “Plato showed me what God was; Paul showed me Who God was.” Plato also believed that the purpose of human existence was to become a just and virtuous citizen by relentlessly pursuing Goodness, Beauty, and Truth.
Esther and Plato are like two tributaries that merge into one great river. Esther the Jewess and Plato the Greek represent the two most influential cultural and intellectual “tributaries” that merged to create that mighty river known as Western culture, the culture that eventually gave rise to what is best, what is most beautiful, and what is truest in Western culture: Christianity.
Beauty, Goodness, and Truth are not just ideas; neither are they merely ideals; they are absolute realities that have real-world implications and impacts, not just in the ancient histories of bygone nations but right here and now in this very place and time.
And “right here and now in this very place and time” Beauty, Goodness, and Truth are under attack.
As a classical, Christian school, we unapologetically and uncompromisingly teach our students what is Good, Beautiful, and True.
As in the lives of Esther and Plato, who knows how God’s providence may use the young women and men of our academy? In a very real sense, every one of our students has been born “for such a time as this.”