Skip to main content

esther 9

oh boy.  we've reached chapter 9, and in what should have been a chapter of happy endings and celebrations of peace and restoration, we instead find a brutal bloody story of violence and revenge.  having received mercy, the jews in this story fail to see the benefit in extending it, and instead resort to violence, killing "seventy five thousand."  scholars who have argued for a less literal interpretation of the story of esther argue that this mass killing is not found in the recorded history of these times and places.  but regardless of whether it is 'true' or not, it raises a poignant question for us about what we do with mercy when its been given to us: hoard it?  or share it?  the chapter ends with a detailed prescription for celebrating purim, a holy day still celebrated by jews who remember the story we've been recounting these last 9 days.  if you have the stomach for it, here's chapter 9. 
esther 9
paper collage on vinyl lp; paper collage on album cover
gregory a. milinovich

esther (nine)
(what kind of story is this?)
death, death, death.
in this topsy turvy turn,
the murdered become murderers.
blood is all over the dust.
thick chunks of blood fill the world.
the blood of the jews, no!
the blood shed by the jews.
when the tables are turned,
who are we?
when the masks come off,
do we start again?
do we just trade masks?
we will make a day to remember.
we will make a time to never forget.
we will celebrate our freedom,
but never mention the blood we shed.
when the world turns over,
who will we be?
the hangers or the hanged?
the high, high, high,
or the sigh, sigh, sigh?


Greg C. said…
This study just keeps getting better and better greg.
When it's all said and done, you should think about packaging it (other than the way it is now, of course).
Thanks again for embarking on this journey through Esther. I'm learning a lot. I've reached the point where I can't wait for the next installment!

Popular posts from this blog

State College to Birmingham

 as some of you know, i have been working towards a goal i set at the beginning of 2020 of running 1000 miles in one calendar year.  today is the last day of september (what?!?), and so that means the year is 3/4 of the way complete, which means i should be right around the 750 mile marker.  however, i am doing better than that, as my 5 mile run today put me at 847 miles for the year, almost 100 miles ahead of schedule!  i am feeling great, enjoying the journey, and experiencing a real sense of accomplishment as i work towards this goal.   i have also enjoyed these little milestones along the way, just to see how far i've come.  as it turns out, 847 miles from State College (along the roads, not as the crow flies) would have me arriving in Birmingham, AL, right about now!  not too shabby!  only about 150 to go!

The Broken Path: the stations of the cross - Station 1

  during this season of lent, at the church i serve, we've been talking about brokenness.  we've been looking at the ways that our journey is often a broken journey, full of missteps, sidetracks, and dead ends.  and yet, we have been seeing, as clearly as ever, that those broken places are exactly the same places where grace grows.  the cracks are where the light shines through.   so, as a way to continue to reflect on this brokenness, the worship team thought we might do an art installation outside, on the church property, of the stations of the cross, but in a way that expressed not only the brokenness of Jesus' body and journey to the tomb, but also the brokenness of our world and our hearts.  using something i made several years ago, i thought we might be able to use old windows and broken glass to help tell the story.   so, in the end, i made eight separate stations of the cross, each one on an old window that came from an old farmhouse in bellefonte.  i used broken g

bad haircuts (for a laugh)

everybody needs to laugh.  one good way i have found to make that happen is to do a simple google image search for 'bad haircut.'  when you do so, some of the following gems show up.  thankfully, my 9th grade school picture does NOT show up.  otherwise, it would certianly make this list!  please laugh freely and without inhibition.  thank you and have a nice day.