(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is Matt Rosenberg, a Messianic Rabbi based in Seattle. Sometime last year, during one of the Jewish holidays, he quoted the late comedian Alan King in his description of all Jewish festivals: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”
As flippant as the quote sounds (though let’s face it – it’s funny), it’s actually a pretty apt description of what happens in the last two chapters of Esther.
9:1 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.
5 The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them.
Today, Jews mark this moment with the holiday known as Purim, which basically follows the pattern of Alan King’s quote. Over the last couple of weeks we here at Eastridge have celebrated a number of big things that God has done: around 15 baptisms between two campuses, baby dedications, and 25 years of God’s faithfulness to us as a congregation. We’ve even thanked God for the faithful legacies of two families who have lost loved ones.
How often do you celebrate what God has done in your life? I’d guess that none of us do so often enough. Try a celebration this week. Plan a special meal with your family and take that time to share what God is doing in you. Cue up a playlist of your favorite praise songs for a private worship session, or spend some time in prayer just thanking Him for what He does.
These celebrations not only allow us to express some gratitude to God, but they also help us to remember His goodness when times get tough. So celebrate. You won’t regret it.