Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Esther? Who is That?

Our scripture text for this week is Esther 2:1-11 and will be preached upon by my dear friend Elizabeth Hagan. You can read the text here (I would also recommend reading Chapter 1 if you are not familiar with the overall arc of Esther), and you may read Elizabeth's blog here to start getting to know her better before Sunday!

True story: when I was in seminary, a classmate of mine came to me asking for advice. He was taking a class on Faith and Humor (he always seemed to find the classes that sounded made up), and he had to write a paper on humor in the Bible but did not know where to look. "How about Esther?" I suggested. In return I got a blank stare. "You know," I repeated, "Esther. In middle of Bible. Queen who saves her people amidst lots of irony, exaggeration and general ridiculousness from all the characters." He continued to stare at me cluelessly. My colleague had never even heard of this book of the Bible--one of two to be named after a female!

I sent my friend home with instructions to read Esther. For the next three weeks, we will be reading Esther together as well. We won't be reading it for its humor, though I hope you do enjoy the cleverness of some of the narrative. Rather, we will be reading it for the very, very real ways it relates, as the book of Nehemiah did before it, to the situations in which we find ourselves as Christians today. Esther's story, though unfamiliar and set in an ancient Persian culture foreign to us in most every way, resonates with ours as we seek to live a faithful life in the midst of a culture that pressures us to assimilate rather than live a distinctive life that reflects belief in a distinctive God. Esther's wise and bold decisions are ones from which we have much to learn--and the way this story is written overall has much to teach us as well.

So brush up on your Esther--or turn to her story for the first time if need be--and join us on this journey as we learn from her experience of God and how it connects to our own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How fun to be at Broadneck on Sunday! Thanks for having me.