Over 25 years of preaching, I’ve come to believe that when we look at the Bible through the lens of the women within its pages, things shift. Where biblical men build walls, biblical women keep finding ways over, under, and around them. Today, when our world is so divided, when stereotypes and religious differences often lead to violence, I think we could use a little of that biblical girl power.
Amid a canon where most VIPs are men, the book of Esther is a surprise. Esther is a matriarch who may not be a natural-born leader but who acts in a crucial moment—beyond even her own expectations—to keep her people from destruction. She’s a matriarch for all the lipstick-loving, high-heel-wearing, anti-sex-shaming advocates among us. How surprising and refreshing to meet such a woman in the pages of our holy book.
The book of Esther is about having faith in a time when it is not easy to have faith. In the midst of violent oppression set in place by foolish men, Esther acts with bravery. We need her.
This message is an excerpt from “Esther is an unlikely hero, but one we need” by Debbie Blue in the October 2020 issue of Gather magazine.