Tuesday, January 22, 2013

contest for queen

Good afternoon friends,
I hope your week is starting out well. I have a couple of announcements for our life together: First, tonight at St. Ambrose there will be a worship service celebrating the week of prayer for Christian unity. The week of prayer is a week focused on bringing different churches together so we can witness to Christ's love. Tonight's service will include leaders from different churches and is a great chance to meet Christians in the neighborhood. The worship service begins at 7 tonight at St Ambrose (Culver and Empire). On Tuesday, January 29th there will be a UPT follow up discussion on our New Beginnings process. If you attended the last of these (at Trinity Emmanuel) or if you have been excited by our New Beginnings process and want to learn more about working on reaching out with other Presbyterian neighbors, this event is for you. The evening begins with dinner at 5:45 at South Presbyterian Church (Mt. Hope and Crittenden, near Strong Hospital). If you're interested, please let me know as soon as possible.

Today's reading follows up on the story of Esther that Trina shared with you on Sunday. The story takes place during the Babylonian exile of Judah. Esther is a really interesting story and rare in that it never mentions God. After firing his queen, King Ahasueras decides to choose a new queen through a beauty pageant. As we'll see, the winner and new queen is a Jewish woman named Esther, whose courage will save her people.

God bless,

Esther 2:1-10, 16-18
After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. 2Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. 3And let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in the citadel of Susa under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; let their cosmetic treatments be given them. 4And let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.

5Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. 6Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. 7Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.

8So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. 9The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen maids from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best place in the harem. 10Esther did not reveal her people or kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to tell.

 16When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers—“Esther’s banquet.” He also granted a holiday to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality.

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