Second Week of Easter, Tuesday, April 26, 2022
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther everything Haman, the enemy of the Jewish people, had left when he died. And Mordecai came in to see the king, because Esther had told the king how he was related to her. Then the king took off his signet ring that he had taken back from Haman, and he gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of everything Haman left when he died.
Once again Esther spoke to the king. She fell at the king’s feet and cried and begged him to stop the evil plan that Haman the Agagite had planned against the Jews. The king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So Esther got up and stood in front of him.
She said, “My king, if you are pleased with me, and if it pleases you to do this, if you think it is the right thing to do, and if you are happy with me, let an order be written to cancel the letters Haman wrote. Haman the Agagite sent messages to destroy all the Jewish people in all of your kingdom. I could not stand to see that terrible thing happen to my people. I could not stand to see my family killed.”
King Xerxes answered Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman was against the Jewish people, I have given his things to Esther, and my soldiers have hanged him. Now, in the king’s name, write another order to the Jewish people as it seems best to you. Then seal the order with the king’s signet ring, because no letter written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can be canceled.”
At that time the king’s secretaries were called. This was the twenty-third day of the third month, which is Sivan. The secretaries wrote out all of Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, to the governors, to the captains of the soldiers in each state, and to the important men of the one hundred twenty-seven states that reached from India to Cush. They wrote in the writing of each state and in the language of each people. They also wrote to the Jewish people in their own writing and language. Mordecai wrote orders in the name of King Xerxes and sealed the letters with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the king’s orders by messengers on fast horses, horses that were raised just for the king.
These were the king’s orders: The Jewish people in every city have the right to gather together to protect themselves. They may destroy, kill, and completely wipe out the army of any state or people who attack them. And they are to do the same to the women and children of that army. They may also take by force the property of their enemies. The one day set for the Jewish people to do this in all the empire of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. A copy of the king’s order was to be sent out as a law in every state. It was to be made known to the people of every nation living in the kingdom so the Jewish people would be ready on that set day to strike back at their enemies.
The messengers hurried out, riding on the royal horses, because the king commanded those messengers to hurry. And the order was also given in the palace at Susa.
Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal clothes of blue and white and a large gold crown. He also had a purple robe made of the best linen. And the people of Susa shouted for joy. It was a time of happiness, joy, gladness, and honour for the Jewish people. As the king’s order went to every state and city, there was joy and gladness among the Jewish people. In every state and city to which the king’s order went, they were having feasts and celebrating. And many people through all the empire became Jews, because they were afraid of the Jewish people.
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
We ponder all that happened in the time of Queen Esther and marvel at how your hand must have been upon the people. You orchestrate peace in your perfect time. You move in the hearts of people so they hear your voice and reflect your love and compassion to each other. We celebrate these stories of ancient times. We marvel that the stories written so long ago continue to impact the world in this present day.
Praise to you, Yahweh, for your many miracles. When death looms and our circumstances seem hopeless you send wise counsel to help us, and you move the hearts of our leaders. You prepare a banquet for us in front of our enemies. You lift up the lowly to high positions.
I hear your stories of past generations today, Loving Yahweh, and thank you for…
We hear you calling us to step forward and write down the stories of this present day. Give us faith and strength to respond to your call. We write the stories of you walking in the midst of your community. We celebrate your faithfulness, miracles, and peace.
With joy we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler