Today we begin a series on the book of Esther, one of only two Biblical books to be named after women. Esther is a challenging read; it contains, as one commentator suggests, both hilarity and horror. It is also the only book of the Bible not to mention God, which has troubled many scholars and theologians through history, some asking why it is included in the Bible? Esther is a great book for the questions it leaves us with, questions about God’s activity in the world, questions about faith, questions about the Church’s lamentable history around the role of women, questions about our identity as the people of God. Once a year during the Festival of Purim Jewish people the world over immerse themselves in the story of Esther; during this series we’ll attempt to soak in the story and see what questions it asks of us as a community of God’s people.