As referred to in 9:20--22 in our text, Esther is a book that celebrates Jewish deliverance from persecution. It is not a religious book, and the name of God is never mentioned in it. Nevertheless it found its place in the canon of scripture as the reading for the Festival of Purim which falls on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month of Adar (= February/March; 9:21), according to the postexilic Jewish calendar. The name "Purim" comes from the Hebrew word pur, which refers to the "lot" that the wicked Haman cast to single out which Jews should be killed (3:7; 9:26, 28).
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Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love Bethany Peerbolte Christopher Keating George Reed
For August 25, 2019:
And a Little Child Shall Lead Them… by Tom Willadsen — There is no question of the passion, sincerity and prophetic nature of the work of young people confronting the most urgent and divisive issues we face as a society.
Literature is full of stories of mistaken identity. Sometimes the results are comic and other times tragic. But failing to recognize with whom you are dealing is never without consequence.
The pages of Scripture are filled with highest-order instances of mistaken identity. The residents of Sodom, for example, don’t know whom they are threatening. The Pharaoh of Egypt does not recognize the hand of Israel’s God at work. And the Jewish leaders who thought that Jesus was an agent of Beelzebul had it all wrong.
Perhaps what most people crave in today's world, is to love and to be loved. But it may also be true that not many people outside the church would use quite that terminology. Some people might say that they're looking for happiness, others might settle for contentment, especially the contentment of knowing that their family is happy and secure. Yet others might express their desires in different ways , such as the longing for good health or the desire for wealth, but probably at the root of all these wishes is the search for happiness.
Today, and for the next several weeks, the Revised Common Lectionary devotes attention to one of the most intriguing figures in all of the Old Testament -- the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah began his work as the bearer of God's word to the nation of Judah during the time of King Josiah's reign in 627 BC. His prophesying continued even as Judah's brightest and best were forced to leave their homeland for exile in Babylon in approximately 586 BC.