In every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Remember King Herod? He was the one that was so jealous of Jesus being born because he was going to be king and replace Herod. Well, Haman in this story had evil plans like Herod. Herod wanted to kill all the children two years old and younger; Haman wanted to have all the Jews killed.
The story of what would be done about this begins to be told as Esther and Mordecai make plans. But the first thing they do is not sit down and figure it all out. Instead, they want all the Jews not to eat for three days and three nights as a way of preparing for the strategy of what they would do with God’s help.
Denying oneself food or drink for a time is called fasting. It might seem hard to do—certainly three days and nights is a long time without food. But you can skip a meal sometime with the thought of wanting the experience of hunger for food be a hunger for God and for what God wants. Fasting is very spiritual. It lets us know that we depend upon God for our life, for God has given us the very food we eat. When we fast, we are reminded of a spiritual hunger that we need to feel for God, with the faith to know that God is going to respond to us by communicating what God wants us to do in all the situations in our lives.
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Fasting and cleansing the heart 4:3
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.
This is the Second Week in Epiphany
Winter in the north. Year C
Tuesdays are dedicated in this season to the Book of Esther
Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…