Today, Jewish folks all around the world are celebrating Purim. It’s a day to remember the long-ago story of Esther, the girl who became Queen of Persia when King Xerxes picked her as his second wife. Long story short, during her reign a sneaky villain of an advisor named Haman (who hated all Jews) convinced the king to sign an edict ordering the annihilation of all Jews in the land. Esther had to go before the king uninvited, which could have meant death, and plead for her people. The king, who didn’t know she was Jewish (nice, right?), was appalled at what he’d done. The Jews were saved, Haman was killed, and God proved faithful once again. Traditionally, to celebrate this holiday, the story is read aloud and people boo and hiss and use noisemakers to drown out Haman’s name every time it’s mentioned . . . it’s quite fun! So, for Noah’s Bible time this morning, we decided our craft should be noisemakers! Yay!
“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking. You guys aren’t Jewish! What’s the deal? Well, several years ago, we started reading some books and participating in a Bible Study that led us to realize how much more we can understand our own Christian faith when we explore its Jewish roots. Jesus was, after all, a Jew Himself. The more we learn about the cultural and historical context of first century Israel, the more we understand what He taught and preached and how He lived. If you’re interested, I have a little more explanation here. Anyway, as a result of all that we started celebrating many of the Jewish holidays in addition to the ones we already have. Soooo, that brings us back to homemade noisemakers! Here’s the two kinds we made: