Reflection Questions: Called Hearing and Responding to God’s Voice
Chapter 3: Esther
Opening Prayer: Gracious God, we give you thanks for the courage and witness of Esther, the wisdom and boldness of Mordecai, and the perseverance of your people in every age. Grant us grace to see and grasp our own power to influence your world for the better, in our own time, grant us the courage to use it, and grant us clarity and patience for all who are divided from us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture: Read the following scriptural material in the book of Esther.
Esther 1: 10-12, 16, 19 Esther 5 : 1-3
Esther 2: 15-17 Esther 7 :1-5
Esther 3: 1, 5-6 Esther 9 :1-4
Esther 4: 10-17
Why might Queen Vashti be unwilling to appear at the King’s banquet?
What is the relationship between Mordecai and Esther?
Why does Mordecai tell Esther not to reveal that she is a Jew? Have you ever felt the need to hide part of yourself like that?
The Jewish minority in the Persian empire seems to have coexisted with their neighbors peaceably for many years.
What can happen to make people turn against minority groups in this way?
Why is Esther reluctant to do what Mordecai asks?
Do you relate to Esther’s dilemma? Are you ever afraid of the consequences of speaking up against an injustice?
Think through stereotypes you hold or have held in your life. What helped you examine your stereotypes more fully in your life? What helped you rethink the stereotypes you have experienced in life?
Look up the word “salvation”. What does it mean for God to bring salvation to individuals, groups or countries? What does it mean to be saved or experience “God’s salvation in your life?
Make a list of times God has saved you from difficulties or struggles.
Almighty God, who holds the days and ages of every kingdom and every life in your almighty hand: Give to us your servants a heart with the boldness and faithfulness of Esther and Mordecai; free us from scorn and slander, both that we give and that we receive. Make us instruments of your peace, justice, and reconciliation in the world. Help us to hear your voice in the midst of the world’s disorder, to fold our hands in prayer and in labor, and to heed your calling in our time. Amen.