The First 15

Friday May 1, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield



Esther 1:15-22

15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord

19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.


By way of introduction, it appeared at the outset that King Xerxes is a ruler of unassailable power and control. And yet, we’re seeing evidence to the contrary. Despite his grandiose delusions of himself and his position over the world, he’s often drunk which is evidence that he is rarely in his right mind. His rule is precarious and clearly vulnerable if someone close wanted to make a move. It wouldn’t be hard. Presumably the king wanted attractive women around which is why the seven servants who serve him are eunuchs so there won’t be any threat of competition. And, so far, he can’t make a judgment without his advisors. He needs instruction on what to do about Queen Vashti who refuses his request. For all of the fame and power Xerxes’ thinks he has, much of it is projection. He’s projecting an image that isn’t real. It’s an image based on a false and twisted conception of pride and power. He’s his own standard because he doesn’t believe there is a power greater than himself. Deep down, he’s human like the rest of us.

Even King Xerxes is made in the Image of God. He’s vulnerable like the rest of us too. We often think it’s better to project and put up a false front than be honest about our vulnerabilities and insecurities. Where are you projecting a false image? What’s the reason? Confession leads to freedom. Remember whose image you bear today. Refuse to wear a mask that tries to hide the Image of God in you.

Prayer for Today

Morning Prayer from Saint Patrick

    I arise today
Through the sength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

    I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

    Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

    I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

The First 15

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