Sally Douglas continues in the co-host chair this week, Pentecost 18. She and Fran talk about the enigmatic and troubling story of Esther (7:1-6, 9-10). We note the dynamics of diaspora; the role of human ingenuity and faithfulness in the face of appalling oppression, and name the challenges and possibilities of preaching from Esther. James 5:13-20 focuses on the communal character and many manifestations of prayer. We touch on the pastoral implication regarding answered and unanswered prayer. With Mark 9:38-50 we draw out the radical centrality of the ‘little ones’ – children – in the faith community; and the confronting statement that we are all salted with fire.
We mention: the Bible Project’s Youtube clip on Esther;
the Brazos Commentary on Esther and Daniel by Sam Wells and George Sumner;
Rudolf Vrba’s I Escaped from Auschwitz.