Esther is a short story -- though okay it doesn't feel so short when you read the entire thing in one go on Purim -- so this morning I was thinking about what to read next, since we'll likely still be in Acts when we finish Esther, and I kinda wanna go back to the Exodus story. But we can figure that out later. (Morning prayer is just on Thursdays now that we're not in Advent or Lent.)
During the Reflection time, FCS-Ian said something about how where we left off in the Esther story, you can tell something big is gonna happen, and he's excited to hear. I said, "You don't know the story of Esther?" (He didn't.) I guess I shouldn't be surprised -- I've just come across it so many times in recent years.
We talked some about fear of rebellion, fear of women. Joan said there could have been any number of reasons why Vashti didn't come, and listed some examples. I declined to share Rated R version of why Vashti didn't come. Looking it up after I got to work, Wikipedia informs that it's unlikely to be true:
King Ahaseurus's command for the appearance of Queen Vashti is sometimes interpreted as an order to appear unclothed and/or dance for attendees. Though it was common in the culture for dancers to entertain the king's guests, this interpretation is inconsistent with Persian customs that "the queen, even more than the wives of other men, was secluded from the public gaze". In further dispute of this interpretation is the fact that the Biblical Old Testament, the most exhaustive collection of ancient Hebrew writings from the era of Esther, contains no instances of the Hebrew word "יֳפי" ("yopî"—transliterated, pron: "yof-ee", English: "beauty") describing Queen Vashti in the Biblical account of the story in any context associating it with nudity or indecency.
After service, Joan said to me, "What news do you listen to? I hadn't heard about either the flooding in Rio de Janeiro or the civil unrest in Kyrgyzstan." (Both of which I had lifted up in my Prayers of the People.) Neither had FCS-Ian. (I had to admit that I hadn't really read the stories -- had just seen the headlines in my Yahoo account; the links here are the ones that were up when I logged in after I got to work this morning.)