Tag Archives: celebrating our salvation

Happy Re-Birth-Day

Esther

Reading about Purim in the book of Esther has me thinking. Thousands of years since God saved the Jews through Esther’s obedience, Jewish people celebrate the anniversary of that day every spring. It’s one of the biggest religious holidays in the Jewish religion. Costumes, singing, gifts, lots of food. It’s a party! Kind of like a birthday party.

And that’s what has me thinking.

Most of us celebrate birthdays every year with some kind of party. As we should. The day you were born into this world is reason to celebrate!

But most of us don’t give a second thought to our spiritual birthday, the day when we were born again into the spiritual kingdom of God, becoming His child through the blood of His Son Jesus. If Purim celebrates the day the Jews were saved, how much more should I celebrate the day I was saved, too?

Honestly, the date of that life-beginning event in my life is blurred in my memory. I was really young when Jesus saved me. And I’m really old today. But I have never celebrated my spiritual birthday.

I know of a couple of families who celebrate their children’s spiritual birthdays every year with the same fanfare as their physical birthdays. Cake and ice cream, or dinner out, or some kind of special event to celebrate the day their children were saved. I love that idea. If you’re a parent of a child who has been born-again, I hope you’ll consider doing this as well.

If you’re like me, and don’t remember the date of your salvation, why not celebrate today, September 15? Throw a party. Bake a cake. Wear a party hat. Celebrate the day you were truly born, whenever that was!

However, let me say that I know we have reason to celebrate our re-birth-day every day! God’s mercies are new every day! It doesn’t take a party hat to remind me how loved I am, or what it means to be born into the family of God.

I know we don’t need a party. But reading about how the Jews celebrated their salvation in such a festive atmosphere, and knowing they eventually died anyway, makes me want to celebrate by rebirth with the same fervor, knowing I will take that rebirth into eternity.

So, whenever it is you were saved…

Happy Re-Birth-Day!

September 24 – Purim

Esther 6-10

Not being a Jew, and unfamiliar with Jewish customs, I googled “Purim” this morning after reading these chapters in Esther. I found that this holiday “is the most fun-filled, action-packed day of the Jewish year.” (chabad.org)

Jews go to the synagogue two times in two days to hear every word of the book of Esther read publicly. Whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, they twirl noisemakers and stamp their feet to “eradicate his evil name.”

The Jews give money and food to at least two needy people during Purim. And they donate to whoever asks, without verifying the need.

Every Jew gives food gifts to at least one Jewish acquaintance. They enjoy a festive meal with family, complete with a beautifully decorated table, and dressed up in their finest clothes or in cheerful costumes.

They eat, and laugh, and sing, and pray. They enjoy remembering the day they, as a nation, were saved thousands of years ago.

Which got me thinking. My own salvation was only a few decades ago. And I can’t begin to tell you how many days, or weeks (or years) go by when I don’t even give that glorious day a thought. Oh, I’m aware of it, and thankful for it. But I don’t think I celebrate that day like it warrants.

As I sit here today, I remember. I remember where I was sitting in the sanctuary of Westwood Alliance Church that February evening. I was a teenager among others in our youth group. I remember the evangelist who played beautiful music by using his fingertips to rub the rims of crystal glasses filled with water to different levels. I remember sitting there, while the congregation sang an invitation hymn, and trying to tell God that my friends would think there was something wrong with me if I went forward. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a bad person. Besides, hadn’t I asked Jesus into my heart when I was in pre-school?

I remember watching my sister go to the altar that night, and knew I had no excuse. God was asking me to take that step, to make Him Lord of my life once and for all. And I did.

I feel like singing!

That day changed my life. I wonder why I don’t celebrate my second birth like I do my birthday. It wouldn’t hurt! I have reason to live generously, lovingly, joyfully because I was born again. Sounds like a party!

God, thank You for this lesson in Esther, and for the Jewish tradition of Purim that has me remembering the day I was saved from my enemy. Thank You for that evangelist, and the words he spoke that night that penetrated my heart. Thank You for forgiving me, for paying my sin debt, for living inside of me all these years later. And because of that day, I can have a fun-filled, action-packed life walking with You. I love You!!