Purim is a Jewish holiday that doesn’t get a lot of press.  However without purim, which is the commemoration of the story of Queen Esther, There would be no Jesus.  The evil man Haman tried to wipe out all the Jews in a single day, but Esther was used by God to save her people and the gallows (which was probably really an impaling stake) made for her uncle Mordecai was used on Haman instead.  The word purim means ‘lots’, for the lots cast in the story.  In an interesting twist, God is not mentioned at all in the Book of Esther.  He is surely at work, but not brought up by name.  He is incognito.  He is in disguise.  This led to a tradition of dressing up in costumes for Purim parties.  There is another tradition associated with Purim, the eating of hamentashen.  These are fruit filled pastries like the ones above that symbolize Haman’s purse, hat or ears depending on who you ask.  In the celebration of Purim, all 10 chapters of the story of Esther are read aloud and Haman’s name is ‘blotted out’ by boos and noisemakers while Mordecai’s name is cheered.  Three years ago Kara and I were in Israel on Purim on the anniversary of my right ear being healed of deafness, March 16.  On my ‘ear day’, the whole country of Israel was eating little snacks named for a man’s ear.  It was memorable.  Today is Purim.  It’s a day of God’s victory where he let a teenage girl get the credit.  It reminds me of Jesus telling people ‘your faith has healed you’.  God is ALWAYS at work.  Sometimes he’s just in disguise.  Sometimes he looks like one of our friends or a family member.  Sometimes he looks like one of our children or a mentor.  Sometimes he looks like you.  Chag Purim Sameach… Happy Purim!