“These days of Purim should not be neglected by the Jewish people, and that they should not be forgotten by their descendants.” Esther 9:28
For a better understanding of this message, I encourage you to read the book of Esther. Esther (a Jew and the King’s wife) thwarted plans made by Haman (the archenemy of the Jews) to kill the Jews. Because they were “delivered” from this plot, they celebrated, and it was ordered that the Jews celebrate the Feast of Pruim every year (usually in March).
Today, this festival, as with many Christian holidays, is observed more as a national holiday than a religious one. However, it does continues to include prayers and the reading of the book of Esther. Families give gifts of food to friends, charity to the poor, and participate in a festive meal. Often there is music, dancing, parades, and people dressing in costume, and a lot of laughter.
I see how many of our Christmas traditions are similar to the concept of the Feast of Purim–Christmas pageants with children reciting a line of memorized scripture dressed in costumes made out of bathrobes, bedsheets, and paper crowns, festive meals, often with traditional food, such as lefsa (a Norwegian flat bread resembling a tortilla). Churches and other organizations collect food and gifts for the less fortunate, and every group or organization plans a party with food, fun, and laughter.
Perhaps I will place a symbol of my Jewish roots (that goes back to Jesus and his ancestors) in my home to remind me of the Feast of Purim, and to celebrate everything in life!
Dear Lord, help us center our celebrations on you. Amen.