Chaplain Corner’s Article March 2021
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
The story of Queen Esther saving her people is one of my favorite biblical story as it shows the history of women contributing to the betterment of their people and they made their voices heard in spite of possibly losing their very life. Often perpetuated through history men were lifted up as being the main characters in the bible. However, the story of Queen Esther is one of many who reaffirms that was indeed not always the case. Women have been at the forefront of every portion of history be it biblical or in the building of nations and countries.
Esther was placed in the King’s palace after the death of his wife by her cousin Mordecai. The king became smitten by Esther and she became his wife. There came a time when a decree was issued to kill all of the Jews. Mordecai went to Queen Esther to urge her to speak up to save her people. Mordecai reminded the queen that just because she was married to the king does not mean she was safe. Surely her and her family would die and God would send someone else to deliver the Jews. Mordecai continued to share with the queen that her entire life and purpose was for this moment right here. God placed Esther in a position of authority and gave her a seat at the table, not for herself but for others as well. He did not want her to forget it. Queen Esther had a lot to lose, including her life. However, she ultimately understood her purpose and stated before speaking to the king “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” By being fearless and realizing the favor of God was upon her for such a time as this, she saved her people.
I am reminded this month and every month the importance of women being a part of our history and legacy for such a time as this. There is not a moment in our history that women have not sacrificed, dedicated, and served for a purpose greater than themselves. I encourage us all today as we continue to serve and sacrifice for our country that we remember we have been chosen for such a time as this.
Reverend Takana L. Jefferson, Chaplain, United States Navy
(Photo Courtesy of The United States Naval Academy)
*This article is part of a month long series, Black Lacrosse Stories, that highlights Black players and coaches who have made an impact on our game, but may be lesser known to many younger players today.*
Everybody knows Jim Brown as being the first Black player to earn First Team All-American honors in DI lacrosse in 1957. But who was the second? The answer to that question would be Syd “The Squid” Abernethy who played at Navy from 1978-81 and earned the nickname “The Squid” for his signature head and shoulder fake.
A native of Annapolis, Md. and a product of Annapolis High School, where he played for Johns Hopkins alum Dave Roberts and was a high school All-American, Abernethy chose to stay home and follow his brother, Tom, down the street to the United States Naval Academy. While there, he played for Hall of Fame coach Dick Szlasa and despite following and playing with some of the best attackmen in Navy history, would leave a legacy of his own as one of the best at the position in program history.
During his freshman season in 1978, Navy went 11-3 and fell in the semifinals to Cornell. Abernethy didn’t see much clock and ended the season with just six points (4G/2A). But for the next three seasons he would start at attack for Navy and put numbers that still have him sitting as No. 12 all-time in career points in the history of Navy lacrosse.