Why Should Gentiles Celebrate Purim?
Purim is the holiday associated with the story of Esther. She was chosen to be queen of Persia, “for such a time as this”, her uncle Mordecai, told her, in order to save the Jewish people from an extermination plot. You can read her story in the Bible, the book of Esther. Today Jews all over the world sing, dance, feast, and act out the story. The children boo and hiss at the name of Haman, the villain; cheer for Mordecai ; and sigh whenever the name of beautiful Esther is mentioned.
So why should Gentiles celebrate Purim?
Several years ago as Tim and I walked out of church on Sunday morning, I asked him, “What is this thing we do on Sunday mornings, and why is it so different from what we read in the book of Acts?”
As we started our research journey on the history of the “church”, the first stopping point was learning that the word “church” in the New Testament, never meant a building or a “Christian” congregation. The word translated, “church”, we learned is “ekklesia”–it means the called out ones, or an assembly of the called out ones.
All of our paradigms began to change.
We have been studying the Jewish roots of Christianity ever since. We have come such a long way in this journey, and learned so much that it will take many blog posts to map out the path. So today, I will just say this:
To read what we call the New Testament, without understanding the Jewish context of it, is like reading a webpage and not clicking on the hyperlinks. Nearly every verse of the New Testament refers back to something in the “Old” Testament. And ALL of the “New” Testament was written by Jews, with the probable exceptions of the books of Luke and Acts. The whole Bible is Jewish.
We used to call ourselves, “Christians”. We now call ourselves, “Messianic Gentiles”.
In the coming weeks I hope to map our our journey, to explain the changes, and, Lord willing, inspire other people to dig for the roots.
So, why did a couple of aging Gentiles and our friend, dress up on costumes and go to a Purim party? First because our new Messianic Jewish friend invited us, but mostly because we want to draw closer to the Jewish community, learn from it, to demonstrate that we understand that the Jews were chosen by God to deliver his Word to the world. They were, and are, the chosen people. Jesus is a Jew. For that we are, and will be, forever grateful that Esther was chosen to save the Jews from annellation thereby enabling us to be grafted in.