The Book of Esther
The book of Esther is about a Jewish queen in the Persian empire. It’s a story of imperial power, wise beauty, and devious plots. In my opinion, it is the most riveting narrative in the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures: it has lavish banquets, rebel queens, conniving court officials, immanent threats, international intrigue, and a surprise twist ending. The story of Queen Esther is found in the Hebrew Festival Scroll. The Book of Esther is tied to the Feast of Purim. It’s a feast that celebrates the near-miss of disaster.
It celebrates all the times we are outnumbered but aren’t ruined, bullied but not overwhelmed, pushed to the sidelines only to find our voice needed at the centre of the story. In and amongst a great story is the human predicament of what we become when we are threatened. Will we rise to become greater than we thought we could be? Or will threat turn us against those we love and those we are meant to serve?
The book of Esther isn’t explicit in its language of God. But you will find wisdom in the workings of relationships, in the challenge of power that abuses, and in the strength of a young woman who shouldn’t be anyone’s hero ... but is.