November 1, 2019
Scripture: Esther 2:7
Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.
Thought for the Day: Today is All Hallow’s Day, not All Hallow’s Eve. That was last night. Today (as we will on Sunday), we honor the Saints of the faith. Today, my thoughts go to Esther, this amazing embodiment of faith and conviction. Though in a recent reading of the book, I realized I had forgotten Esther’s real name was Hadassah, a Hebrew name. Some say Esther is the equivalent of Hadassah, but that’s not accurate. She changed her name to hide her Hebrew (Jewish) ancestry. Throughout history, people have had to change their names for safety reasons, even here in the United States. I doubt Hadassah made the choice herself. It was probably something imposed upon her, though understandably. We’d do anything to protect our children, or in this case, Mordecai was protecting his niece who became his adopted daughter. Esther (Hadassah) could have kept her nationality (race) quiet and simply allowed herself to blend among the people in Susa, but she did not. How many of us have spent much of our lives hiding a portion of who we are in hopes of maintaining something not quite menacing as the danger Hadassah faced. Maybe we do so to keep our reputation intact, get a job or promotion, or simply to maintain a relationship. Would we risk losing them for the sake of others, or would we keep our heads down and our mouths shut…allowing people to keep a false perception of us? At some point, people writing these stories down added a title to the book. In this case, they named it The Book of Esther. I wonder if we should change the name to The Book of Hadassah, for that name represents the danger she faced in putting aside her safety for the sake of others. That’s a saint!
Prayer: For all the saints who have gone before me, O Lord, I express my deepest gratitude. I am who I am, or at least the best parts of me exist because of them. Continue to inspire such people for the sake of your love in the world, now and into the future. Amen.
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