Thursday, June 9, 2016

Esther and Modern Women

This week, I am preaching at my church, while my pastor is away at Synod Assembly.  We are off-lectionary, and this Sunday begins a three week study of Esther.

It's interesting to think of Esther in this week where we've seen Hillary Clinton clinch the Democratic nomination--say what you want about unpledged delegates, I'm still willing to bet that they'll support Clinton. Unpledged delegates are long-term Democrats, and through the years, Sanders has done much to alienate them.  In so many ways 21st century women have more options than Esther.

It's interesting to think about Esther in this week where the Stanford rapist got only 6 months of jail time for doing horrid actions to an unconscious woman.  In so many ways 21st century women have more options than Esther, and yet, we still face the same dangers.

The Bible gives readers so few stories where women are the main characters.  The ones that we get are often problematic.  Esther achieves her power because of her youth and her looks.  I want to think that much has changed for 21st century women, but I'm also aware of the critiques of Hillary Clinton's clothes--this week, something about a jacket that costs $12,000.

Wow--does that jacket vacuum the floor too?

But my larger point--I haven't seen any articles that talk about the expense of the clothes of any of the other candidates.  Only women face that scrutiny--it was true for Esther, and it's true thousands of years later.

Will I talk about these things in my sermon?  Yes, I will.

But I will also point out that Esther had severe disadvantages.  She was an orphan and an exile and a female.  Yet she was pivotal in saving her people from doom. 

We should remember her story when we feel too disadvantaged to be effectual.  We all have advantages of one sort or another.  God calls on us to use these advantages to bend the arc of history towards justice.

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