Posts by mep06e@acu.edu

Posts by mep06e@acu.edu

Life Without Lack

There’s always another table, isn’t there? Always another meal, another source of sustenance. The table, the place of the experience of God’s provision, never seems to stop giving, does it? It is this knowledge that allows the people of God to boldly pray, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” What more could we want? In God’s presence, and at God’s table, we lack nothing, so we want nothing. God’s desire to keep bringing us to a table,…
Man and Dog Searching with Flashlight in Outdoor

Wherever We Are

When we read the story of Esther, we’re seeing the will of God find its way into the world through those with limited power. Ahasuerus and Haman have unlimited power, but it is Esther and Mordecai – those who mourn, those who feel out of place, those who take risks – who carry out justice and experience victory. That being said, by the end of the story, Mordecai’s power isn’t so limited anymore. “Mordecai the Jew was next in rank…
Christmas dinner feast

Without Fail

Haman is out of the picture, but that’s not the end of the story. The Jewish people successfully (and overwhelmingly) win the battle against their attackers, but that’s not the end of the story either. Before the story can end, we must be allowed the chance to live in the new, post-conflict reality, a new equilibrium. And this new reality is built around a dinner table. The conflict happened on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, and Mordecai declares…
Calendar cursor

The Fourteenth Day

What makes Haman such a great villain is that even though he’s removed from the story, his poisonous hatred of Mordecai and the Jews has already managed to spread all across the Persian empire. There are many who are all too happy to carry out Haman’s plan to “kill, destroy and annihilate” the Jews when the designated time comes (the thirteenth day of the twelfth month). Esther and Mordecai wish to cancel the date of the conflict altogether, but King…
Little girl huggs her father in forest

A New Reality of Belonging

When we meet Mordecai in Esther 2, the first thing we learn about him is his family history. “Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away.” (Esther 2:5-6) The story of Mordecai and his family is one of displacement.…
Planting seeds

Jesus Logic

Once Esther musters the courage to ask on behalf of her people for an act of advocacy and liberation from the king, the tide turns immediately. The king is happy to be in his wife’s corner and happy to turn on Haman, having him executed for his violent insanity (Esther 7). In the wake of Haman’s removal from the story, the king elevates Esther and Mordecai to Haman’s former position of authority. Once again, we can hear the faint voice…
selective focus of hot burning coals in ash

Let’s Be Losers Together

The book of Esther is a story about power run amok. King Ahasuerus throws a ridiculously indulgent party in his palace. Memucan legislates that wives are legally prohibited from defying their husbands. And Haman legislates that others must bow down to him. And when Mordecai runs afoul of Haman, Haman makes his vendetta not only against Mordecai, but against all the Jews, legislating that they are to be annihilated. This is how power behaves in the story – it behaves…
selective focus of word imagine made of cubes surrounded by blocks with letters on wooden surface

Dare to Imagine

The book of Esther opens up with king Ahasuerus throwing a palace-wide party that lasts 180 days (6 months!). And at the end of 180 days, the king opens the party up to the whole capitol city for an additional seven days. For Ahasuerus, this is what it means to have power, to do as one pleases for as long as one feels like. When he is “merry with wine” he decides to summon his wife, Vashti, simply for the…

To See God Anyway

There’s a common Biblical word that is conspicuously absent in the book of Esther. The word is “God.” Yes, God is not mentioned a single time in the entire ten chapters of Esther. In one way, Esther is a kind of Exodus story – the Israelites finding themselves embedded in a hostile foreign nation and experiencing deliverance. On the other hand, the complete absence of any mention of God makes it a quite different tale than the Exodus which is…

The Way of Jesus and Esther

The book of Esther has unique ways of showing us who God is and how God is active in the world. It’s also a simply good story, filled with plot twists, interesting characters, and dire stakes. The book of Esther is a story about power and how most of it is possessed by the wrong people. It’s a story about people who manipulate to prosper themselves. It’s a story about the inherent immaturity and insecurity of those with the most…
Magnifying glass and red rose on a book

My Secret Heart

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak.” With these words the God of Psalm 50 gathers us together to hear a word from Him. What is our gut reaction to this invitation? Joy? Intrigue? Hope? Dread? Within Psalm 50, dread might be the most appropriate reaction, for God continues, “O Israel, I will testify against you.” But before God names His complaint, He first, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, establishes what His complaint is not. “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke…
River in jungle

On the Other Side of the Water

“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” This is the first promise God makes to Israel in the book of Joshua, right before the Israelites take their first actual steps through the Jordan River into the promised land. Everywhere you take a single step is a gift from God, the promise goes. Every time the muscles in your body move you a step forward, you are receiving a gift – that God…