Third Wednesday of Advent: Esther
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
On the third Wednesday of Advent, we remember Esther.
The ornament for today should represent Esther saving the Jews (a scepter or a heart).
The story of Esther is found in the book of Esther in the Old Testament. It is a captivating tale of bravery, faith, and God's providence.
The story begins with King Xerxes of Persia holding a grand feast for his officials and subjects. During the feast, the king commanded his queen, Vashti, to appear before him and display her beauty. However, Vashti refused to obey the king's command, and as a result, she was banished.
After Vashti's banishment, the king held a beauty contest to find a new queen. A young Jewish woman named Esther was chosen as the new queen, although she kept her Jewish identity a secret.
Later in the story, the king's advisor, Haman, became enraged when Esther's cousin, Mordecai, refused to bow down to him. Haman plotted to destroy all of the Jews in Persia and convinced the king to issue a decree allowing for their annihilation.
Mordecai urged Esther to reveal her Jewish identity to the king and plead for her people's salvation. Esther bravely approached the king and revealed her Jewish identity, risking her own life in the process. The king was moved by her plea and issued a new decree, allowing the Jews to defend themselves against their attackers.
The Jews were able to successfully defend themselves against their enemies, and their victory was celebrated with the feast of Purim.
Overall, the story of Esther teaches us about faith, bravery, God's providence, standing up for what is right, and celebrating God's victories. It encourages us to trust in God's strength and have courage in difficult situations.
For further reading, check out the book of Esther.