Prayer before a reading of Esther (Purim begins at sunset)

God, perhaps we have come to Esther
for such a time as this.

For we live in a time of leering men,
and the dangerous courage of Vashtis,

of trans folks who spend more than a year
in cosmetic preparation
and then become beautiful,

of deciding when to risk ourselves,

of intolerance toward immigrants
so deep it hunts down
legal justifications for lynching.

We live in a time when decisions
are made at the parties
of the rich and powerful,
and when temptations of revenge
challenge our souls.

God, perhaps we have come to this book
that does not mention you,
because we live in a time
when many try to steal your name,

yet you give us responsibility
to deliver your people.

Teppich, Hans, 1904-1983. Brass figures from the Bible, (Solomon, Miriam, Esther, Sarah, Abraham, David) from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN

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