May 18, 2010

Ritual: Real and Religious

Esther 9:20-32

The Jews took it on themselves to … observe these two days … at the time appointed.
Esther 9:27


When the Spirit of God comes into our lives, we are transformed into new people. Our new life happens because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. God’s law becomes part of our nature in this new life. Living by God’s law is a way of showing thankfulness for salvation.

In the story of Esther we learn how God saved the Jews through the heroics of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai. The Jews decided that such deliverance should be celebrated. They set a time each year to honor the fact that God preserved their nation so that the Messiah could be born.

Since God has reordered our lives through his salvation, snatching us from Satan and writing his law on our hearts, we should celebrate as well. Isn’t it time you celebrated your salvation? Christians born in the church who never know anything different sometimes make their Christian life so ordinary. No party, no fun, no joy. Live joyfully in Jesus!

Centuries have passed. The Jews still celebrate the feast of Purim. Maybe you and I should have a custom that each year we celebrate our rebirth in Christ. Perhaps we should celebrate the day we were baptized, or the day we declared our faith in Jesus. What milestone in your life could you celebrate? Now is a great time to begin such a tradition of thanks to God.

Jesus, help me to celebrate your great salvation for me—and all who believe in you. Help me celebrate the rededication of my life to you. Amen.

About the author — Jack Gray

Jack Gray recently retired after forty years as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. During that time he served seven churches from coast to coast in the United States. He and his wife, Wanda, have four sons and three grandchildren. They also have ministered to 44 foster children. This month’s devotions are inspired by his reflections on time at this transition in his life.

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