“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Purim

As we approach Purim (next week), I thought I would briefly post on this holiday. Yes, it is not a 'feast', but there is still much to be learned from Purim.

First and foremost, this holiday allows us to read a little book that is often overlooked by many Christians (Esther); then there is the sheer joy of this holiday. We do many things during Purim -- dress up, put on skits about Esther and Haman, laugh and enjoy. Some might find this a bit disconcerting, to be so 'glib' about something so profound. However that would be missing one of the most important points of Purim; we are enjoying PRECISELY because it is such a profound story, one that continues to this day: that is the attempted destruction of God's People by the enemy. Again and again, he has tried to destroy God's people, and again and again, the faithful One has thwarted his plans!

Francis Shaeffer wrote a book called 'The God Who Is There' -- and that is precisely what we find in the book of Esther; the God who is there. Esther has not always been universally accepted in historic Christianity, partly because of the fact that God is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the book, but there is a tremendous comfort to Purim, and the book of Esther.

While God is not specifically mentioned, His fingerprints are all over the story. It is exciting every year to read the book of Esther aloud during the service, and feel the excitement mount as we read about the king that was unable to sleep during a key night in the life of the Jewish nation, and how he had his servants bring out the book of records and read them aloud to him during that uneasy night. As they read, they come across a record about a Jew named Mordecai, who had once saved the life of the king. Just as they read this record, the evil Haman approaches the court and well.... I will let you read the rest on your own...

As we read, we boo Haman; cheer Mordecai, and gush over Queen Esther. Every person in the church gets involved in the story, reliving the faithfulness of God to His people.

Yes, Purim is not the solemn assembly that some of the other celebrations are, but it is one of joy and laughter -- one that reminds us all again, that we serve a God who is THERE!

This year, read through the book of Esther for Purim -- read it aloud to your children, getting them involved in the story by having them boo Haman, and cheer Mordecai, and of course "AHHHHH" over Queen Esther. Prepare some hamantashen for the kids, give some gifts (traditionally fruit or some goodies) to friends and family, and give a special gift to the less fortunate in your town. Make this lesser known holiday a time of joy and laughter in your family by reminding them again of God's faithfulness to his people.

4 comments:

Mike said...

I'm telling my 4-year old daughter that Purim is coming. She loves queen Esther. Of course any queen/princess is of extremely high regard these days. Her response to my telling her about Purim: "Daddy, how can I decorate my room to celebrate?"

The mind of a child. Ha! The thing is, now I have to figure out how to decorate her room to celebrate.

Ray said...

There are a lot of things --- Pictures that she draws of Haman, Mordecai, and Esther -- You could even bake cookies together -- Hamantashen

Go for it! :-)

Ray

Rose~ said...

Ray,
I would definately enjoy a celebration like that. Thanks for telling us about it.

Let me see if I can say this right:
Sha alu Shalom Yerushalyim

How'd I do?

Ray said...

Not bad rose~ :-)