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Esther 9:20-22 — “Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 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.”

Think about your own life and what you have had to face, and what is still ahead. Imagine that God promised  through the feast of Purim that He is a God that provides us relief from our enemies, He turns our sorrow into joy and our mourning into a day of celebration.

What a powerful promise wrapped in the amazing meaning of the feast of Purim!

Where there was sorrow, God will bring joy into that part of your life. Mourning will turn into a celebration, a holiday, a feast, because we serve a mighty God! God of Israel, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is His character, His essence, what He loves to do most: turning sorrow into joy in our lives, mourning to celebration or a feast. In our culture in Israel feasting means eating, dancing, singing, rejoicing… it’s the fellowship in which the love of God flows in celebration of His goodness and victory.

Esther 9:22 — “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.”

When Mordechai wrote that letter, he mentioned a commandment for all generations that are to come, including ours: aside from the prayers and fasting before Purim starts, celebration prayed during the feast, there are two more things God calls us to do in celebration and remembrance of His deliverance on Purim: we have to bless each other by sending gifts to one another, sweet treats, baked goods, whether it’s home made or store bought, it’s about showing each other kindness by blessing our brethren with gifts. In the Bible sweets represented joy and abundance, which is why every biblical feast there are special pastries prepared to reflect the joy we were given in substitute of sorrow God took away.

Tonight as the whole house of Israel celebrates Purim tonight, join us in the joy, celebration, singing, dining and sharing sweet treats with friends and loved ones as symbol of the joy God gave us. But main thing is not to forget the most important part of this feast: taking care of the poor and those in need, as we are called to do.

Whether it is to take an offering, or going and buying food or special care basket for a person or family in need, it’s about acknowledging how blessed we are and sharing that with those around us in need.

Purim is an incredibly important biblical feast given to us by God in the book of Esther, where we clearly see the call to celebrate this day by serving God in blessing the poor.

I pray today for you, regardless of how far from Israel you might live; you might not see physical celebrations of Purim where you live, but you will know that at this very moment the whole house of Israel is united in this special Purim celebration, and you can join us in the spirit and be a part of it wherever you are.

Praying that the feast of Purim in your life will be the power of God reflected in His protection, His prophetic direction for you, that He will guide you and lead you as He speaks into your life, He will bless you with special people and friends to pray, fast and fight the good fight of faith with. In your trials you will see deliverance, the victory of God, and at the end of it all you will see that all the evil, sorrow and hardships, God will turn it into joy, and mourning into celebration.

May the Lord bless you, keep you and protect you. May you never lack delicious and sweet food to eat and loving people to celebrate and share God’s victory and goodness with. Also, people you can join and serve God together with by helping poor and needy, in Israel, as well as in your nation and community.

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Shalom (peace) to you from Mt. Olives, Jerusalem.

Pastor Israel