How does a book where the name of God never appears, where there is no prayer, no worship, no mention of Jerusalem, no mention of the promised land and only one vague reference to the Jewish law make it into the Bible? The book not only is in the Bible, but it contains one of dearest stories to the Jewish people even today and is celebrated every year during the Feast of Purim. The name of the book is Esther. The answer to that initial question is found in the reading and study of her story as she, an orphaned, exiled Jewish girl, rises to become queen of an empire and saves her people from annihilation. This week we begin our journey with Esther. As we engage, our hearts will begin to rise in passion to take our place in our world for such a time as this.

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