Reflection: Mordecai is descended from Kish, a war captive deported from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Unable to protect his adopted daughter from being taken, he loiters near the harem to ask after her. When he hears that all Jews are to be annihilated, Mordecai performs his grief, visibly, loudly, publicly, to be noticed.
Sackcloth and, presumably, other forms of mourning, are banned from the citadel; cheerfulness is mandatory, sadness outlawed. Elaborate court etiquette ensures that the king never encounters unpleasantness and isolates him from the world.
Imagine you are Mordecai. You have thrown your entire people into danger by annoying Haman. How do you feel?
Engaging our world: Indian Bible teacher CB Samuel suggests that Protestants are embarrassed by people for whom there will be no ‘happy endings’ and no ‘before and after photos.’
When did your community last grieve together, crying out to God in pain and disappointment, bewilderment and anger? Would ‘a person of sorrows well-acquainted with grief’ feel at home with your mob?
Prayer: Loving God, may our hearts be broken by the things that break your heart. Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who mourn now, for they will be comforted.” Spirit of God, give us eyes to see the brokenness of the world; soften our hearts. Amen.