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Archive for the ‘Purim’ Category

Here is a chance to honor your spiritual heritage, to ponder that portion of written revelation which was written for your admonition upon whom the end of the ages has come, and to focus on one of the most important and instructive – if woefully under-appreciated – doctrines of Scripture. Celebrate Purim! Perhaps quietly – in conversation and cogitation more than with costumed children and ratcheted noisemakers.  But in some conscious way that spills over onto the lives of those around you, celebrate Purim.

 

Perhaps you say, “What is Purim?”  Gotcha!  Purim is the Jewish festival that remembers the Esther story.  It is not an “official” Levitical feast; that is, it is not among the shelosh regalim, the three pilgrimage feasts mandated in Leviticus 23.  But the deliverance it remembers was so remarkable and so unlikely that in the biblical record of that deliverance the command was given that two days celebrating the event “should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province and city” (Est 9:28).  The Feast of Purim, observed this year on March 10th and 11th,  is the way in which the people of Mordecai and Esther have been faithful to that command through the ages and around the globe.

 

I cannot think of a story – fictional or historical, biblical or secular, ancient or modern – which is more attractive or more winsome or more compelling or more delightful than the story of Esther.  There is tension; there is drama; there is character development; there is progression and climax and denouement/resolution; there is moral instruction; there is profoundly satisfying narrative coherence and worth.  It is the perfect novella – the stuff which, in a day far, far away and long ago, would have been irresistible to pre-nihilist Hollywood.

 

So seize the season! Find some time to immerse yourself for a few happy hours in the story of God’s providential intervention on behalf of His people in the days of Ahaseurus.  Set that story in its historical setting.  Be honest with the weaknesses of the central players, as well as their strengths.  With all that the story includes, notice that very significantly it does not include miracle.  (That is central to the point being made.)  Search out something of the way the feast is observed by Jewish folk today. Try to figure out the title of this piece! Ponder what God has for you in the narrative; there is much to be learned and much to share.  But beyond that, it is simply a flat-out fun story.  And so again, celebrate Purim.

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