by Hannah, , Tents of Mercy Network
I haven't even put the Purim costumes away yet, and already in my son's kindergarten, the children are learning the story of baby Moses in the basket. The older I get, the smaller the gaps seem between one holiday and the next. Maybe it's the nature of being a mom to school age children. After all, you have to keep those kids focused on something. And holiday themes are always a good way to get their attention. Yet we are all children of God. Maybe the on-going cyclical nature of the Biblical feasts is God's gracious and loving way to get our attention and keep our hearts set on His faithfulness.
There's a funny saying that sums up the message of every Jewish holiday: "They tried to kill us, God made sure we won. Let's eat!" While certainly true in a very general and humorous way, this saying again points to the need/benefit of experiencing, even imbibing, yes repeatedly ingesting the stories of the faithfulness of God.
On Friday nights we bless the Creator of the Universe for creating the fruit of the vine and bringing forth bread from the earth. We remember that He made the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. And we commemorate the Shabbat by eating a special meal.
On Purim we read the story of Queen Esther and how she and Mordechai lead a nationwide prayer meeting to call on God's faithfulness. We dress up in crazy, cute and colorful costumes, remembering how Esther hid her true identity until the right time. And we eat sweet "Haman's ears" cookies to celebrate God's victory for our people over the evil Haman of Agag.
Now, lest we sit for a moment and be tempted to forget the triumph and faithfulness of God, we are wooed into the Passover season. The pink and white flowers of the almond tree whisper in the wind the coming of spring. Warm breezes knock at our closed winter windows, urging us to open up, air out and clean up our homes in preparation for the great Pesach feast.
That night we will sit down together to recount the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt; how God chose Moses and destined him to be the redeemer who would lead us out of slavery. We will tell our children again the story of how, with a mighty and outstretched arm, God showed His power to the oppressing Egyptians, smiting them with plagues and passing over all whose doorposts were covered with the blood. There will be a search for the hidden manna, and we will remember Yeshua's sacrifice as the ultimate Passover lamb.
As I fold up Spiderman, Minnie Mouse and Superman and put them away in the costume box, I am busy thinking about the Passover meal I will make. Will I make light and fluffy matzo balls or sinkers? Will I serve gefilte fish or spicy Moroccan Nile Perch? Brisket or lamb? Will I use festive disposable ware or my grandmother's china?
Whatever the choices, my heart and mind will and should be busy pondering the faithfulness of God, while my body is also busy commemorating with the physical actions of cleaning, cooking, eating - actions that are not merely physical but are vehicles to keep my mind focused on the victories God has won as He has kept His covenant to our people.
"But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you against the evil one." (II Thessalonians 3:3)
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