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
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
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)