Thursday 24th May 2018 - Daily Reading:
Esther 9:20-32 - Remembering and Celebrating by Becky White

The Feast of Purim is celebrated to this day among Jewish communities all around the world. Taking the words in this chapter as a guide, Purim is celebrated by sending gifts of food and drink to friends and neighbours, donating to charities and eating a celebratory meal. In the synagogue, the whole Scroll of Esther will be read out at the start of the day, and there will be special additions to the daily prayers.

Purim is definitely a celebratory event. And so it should be! It commemorates a dramatic intervention in history that saved the Jewish peoples from certain destruction.

Notice how careful Mordecai and Esther were to ensure that these events would never be forgotten. Firstly Mordecai ensured that all the events were accurately recorded. Then he sent letters to every Jew in the kingdom detailing when and how the celebration was to take place each year. This was then backed up by Queen Esther.

The Jewish people know what it means to remember. The Old Testament is full of exhortations to the people to always remember what God has done for them, to write it down, to tell it to their children, and to celebrate it together in various ways.

Do we remember? We may celebrate Christmas and Easter and perhaps some other dates like Pentecost, but how well do we remember the interventions of God in our own lives? Do we make it a point to celebrate the goodness of God towards us? We may shy away from festivals or traditions that seem overly-religious, but one advantage of the regular Jewish feasts of remembrance is that, however bad things are, they are never far away from a time when they can reflect on the faithfulness of God towards them across the centuries.

If you donít already, perhaps consider starting a journal to record answers to prayer, times when you feel God has spoken to you and times when he has intervened in your life. Let us not forget to give thanks.

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