Next week is the Jewish holiday of Purim, which Emerson children will be learning about and celebrating in Religious Education this Sunday! The story of Purim is the story of a cruel advisor to the Persian king, who tried to persuade the king to banish all Jews from the kingdom (or worse, depending on how violent a version of the story you want to tell.) It’s the story of someone powerful holding a deep hatred for people who were different. Fortunately, the compassionate and quick-thinking queen Esther–who, unbeknownst to her husband the king, was also Jewish–was able to sway the king, trick the evil advisor Haman, and save her people.
Purim is traditionally celebrated with a theatrical retelling of this story: the whole Megillah. Children dress up in costumes, everyone eats cookies, adults share adult beverages, charity is given to those in need, and revelry, laughter, and silliness take over the synagogue. Humor is an integral part of the story of the Jewish people, and part of their ability to survive in the face of oppression and discrimination, and therein lies the connection between this celebration and Emerson’s February worship theme of Perseverance.
In class, we’ll explore the connection between laughter and perseverance; we’ll hear the Purim story; we’ll tell our favorite jokes; and we’ll dress up in the silliest costumes we can find in the church’s costume collection. Even–and especially–when times are hard, the power to make each other laugh can bind a community together.
Taking it home:
I hope your family is continuing the conversation begun in classes and in worship (and in Small Group Ministry!) at home. Or in the car, or whenever you have the opportunity for meaningful discussions. Here are some resources for further spiritual deepening as a family:
The health benefits of laughing more are well-documented. Practice these immune-system-boosting, stress-relieving, attitude-lifting laughter games with your children when you need a pick-me-up, too.
Lastly . . . Parents of teens: don’t forget to register for SPRING CON, March 2-4 in Ventura!
Scholarship funds are available to help cover the cost of registration if needed; just ask. Check out the website–it’s going to be amazing!
“If love is the treasure, laughter is the key.”
Yours in faith,
Director of Religious Education