1/24 Reading (Esther 9-10; 1 Timothy 3)

Esther 9: The first half of this chapter tells of the Jews retaliating against those who tried to kill them. They killed tens of thousands of people. We also see that Esther still has a considerable amount of power over the King. He offers to do whatever she wants. She tells him what she wants and he makes it happen. This all happens on the 14th and 15th days of Adar (the 12th month of the year).

Mordecai then declares the 14th and 15th days of Adar to be Purim. They are known as the “days on which the Jews finally put to rest the troubles with their enemies” (Esther 9.22). This is a festival of celebration.

Esther 10: This last chapter is just 3 verses. It is about the fame of Mordecai. The emphasis here is on how important he became, second only to the king.

1 Timothy 3: This chapter is all about different positions people occupy in the church. The first 7 verses focus on bishops (NRSV language; servants in CEB bible). Paul provides many statements that are almost like qualifications necessary to be bishop: “they must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, ³ not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money” (NRSV study bible, p. 2087). The text also talks about the importance of being able to take care of your own house and not be recent believers.

The next part focuses on deacons. The text talks about both men and women being deacons (servants in CEB language).

The last part has Paul (or whoever wrote it) indicating how they wish they could be there, but that they are sending this letter so they can know and understand what they have to do in the church. I like this verse from here: “Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3.16). I like the use of the word mystery. It touches on my views on faith and how we understand that evidence, scientific evidence, doesn’t exist to support this. Yet, we can still question things to better understand.

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