Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am a privileged white male born in the United States of America. It is the only firsthand story that I will ever know. The Old Testament character of Esther reminds me there are other narratives than the one I have lived.

Precisely because she was a woman and therefore basically powerless within the Persian society, Esther was the paradigm of the Diaspora Jew, who was also powerless in Persian society. Because she was successful in attaining power within the structure of society, she served as a role model for Diaspora Jews seeking to attain a comfortable and successful life in a foreign society.

A reversal happens when the oppressed and endangered minority are able to gain lasting power in our culture. This reversal is accomplished by human action motivated by ethnic solidarity and an underlying faith in the providence of God. The action of the woman Esther, a powerless member of a powerless group inspires the empowerment of people yet today. She serves as a role model for all who lack power based on race, gender, or social status.

Esther would certainly not endorse violence and murder as means to gaining human rights and settling racial tension. She would call upon all to listen to the stories of others, and to ask those of numerous cultural and social statuses,”how did you get to where you are today?” To seek a spiritual transformation that stirs compassion in our heart for others versus fear of those unlike us.

Let us pray for peaceful change in our culture. Lord Jesus guide us into a deeper understanding of how mutual justice, mercy, and the empowerment of another is not a threat to my power. Rather allowing the path paved by Esther to offer a road of greater prosperity for all into the future.

For further reflection read the book of Esther.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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