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The book of Esther brims with dangerous intrigue. Haman, a courtier consumed by greed, schemes to annihilate the Jewish people who live within the vast Persian realm. He persuades King Ahasuerus to issue an edict against “a certain hostile people,” seeking their destruction. Mordecai and Esther, both Jews, attempt to...

Gracious God, you meet us in distressing circumstances. Help us trust that you are with us; lead us in the path of life. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
September 24–30, 2018
Scripture Overview

The Jewish people have faced possible destruction numerous times. The story begins not with the Holocaust in Europe but far back in history during the time of Esther. The wicked Haman plots to wipe out God’s people, but God saves the people through Esther’s courage. The psalmist praises God for this kind of salvation from seemingly impossible circumstances. Although we may not face genocide, we have our own struggles. James encourages us to pray with faith, believing that God can and will answer. Our prayers are powerful, James assures us. Jesus teaches us the importance of letting nothing stand between God and us. Using vivid hyperbole, he admonishes us to put the pursuit of God above everything else and to support others in that same pursuit.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22. What traditions extend your memory?
• Read Psalm 124. God created heaven and earth. How do you choose to be on God’s side, the side of creation?
• Read James 5:13-20. When has God’s abiding presence allowed you to experience some sense of cheer despite your suffering?
• Read Mark 9:38-50. Whoever is not against you is for you. How can you share God’s love with those outside your inner circle?

Respond by posting a prayer.

The role of the prophet is twofold; one, to speak with power and secondly to speak to power. This work on anti-racism does both of those things. The videos, writings and resources are powerful representations of what grace and justice sound like and the orators and writers who approach this work do so with a conviction deeply rooted in gospel. These women and men help us reimagine a prophetic voice in a time such as this. This work is needed.”


View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.