Mark Moments of BlessingsMarch 8, 2023 - 12:00 am
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. —Esther 9:20-22
This month, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating Purim, a joyous holiday that commemorates the story of Queen Esther and her courageous stand that saved her people, the Persian Jews, from annihilation.
We have all had those moments when we experience the hand of God in our lives. These may be moments of personal deliverance from some difficult situation, a fortuitous event or “coincidence,” or the blessing of a major life-cycle event like the birth of a child or grandchild. The feeling of God’s presence in moments like these is powerful. It fills us with joy, gratitude, and inspiration.
But how long does it last? We like to think that these moments will be with us forever. And some moments are certainly remembered longer than others. But more often than not, the feelings of elation and gratitude to God that we feel recede with time.
While this is an understandable part of human nature, the truth is that we continue to be blessed by these moments for a long time — some even bless us and future generations forever. That is why it’s so important to mark these times in our lives, to commemorate them in coming years.
Mark Moments of Blessings
Jewish tradition encourages us to mark these moments of blessing on our calendars to be celebrated in years to come. There are Jewish communities that celebrate days when their community was saved from attack for generations after the original event.
We see this lesson in the Book of Esther, after the victory in which the Jews were saved from Haman’s plan to wipe them out. We read, “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.”
Think about that. There are many events in the long history of the Jews when Jewish communities were saved from threats of destruction. Most of these events are remembered only in history books. But the Purim story is celebrated every year. Every year, the story is told again to remember and mark this moment of blessing. Jews everywhere praise God for His faithfulness and celebrate the salvation, thousands of years ago, of the Jews of Persia.
And it’s not just about remembering our history. As a Christian, it’s your history, too. After all, had the Jews been wiped out in Persia, we wouldn’t be here to celebrate today.
Your turn: Do you have moments worth remembering? Mark your calendar with days devoted to telling your story and giving praise to God for His kindness.