By Summer Mansell
One local congregation has rediscovered the importance of celebrating the biblical feast of Purim. For Beit Tehila, the day goes beyond mere celebration and is about understanding the bigger message. The theme for Beit Tehila’s Purim celebration this year, For Such A Time As This, pulls from the historical story of Queen Esther in combination with the similar stories of Joseph and Moses.
The story of Purim revolves around one Jewish girl, Esther, chosen to be queen of Persia, who discovers she was meant for God’s greater purposes. By the hand of God, the journey of her life comes to reveal her destiny and, perhaps more importantly, her identity. Joseph and Moses likewise came to critical crossroads in their lives where encountering the Great I Am changed everything, including their identity.
“When I understood my God-given identity, it gave me purpose and renewed my faith. Through that, God gave me a pathway on how to conduct my life. A lot of times, God’s people are brought to a place where they either accept the identity the world tries to throw at them or embrace what God says of them. This is what the story of Purim is all about,” explained Larissa Zepeda who serves in Beit Tehila’s dance ministry.
As in the stories of Esther, Joseph and Moses, God has a plan to reveal His purpose in the lives of His people today. As we see in Romans 8:31-39, God’s heart is still focused on strengthening His people and making them more than conquerers.
When asked why Purim is relevant for today’s believers, Pastor Russell Messer at Beit Tehila explained, “Purim is a celebration of deliverance in the face of certain destruction. When we celebrate it, it helps us understand our roots better. It’s another example of how oftentimes we see the greatest miracles when we are at the brink, when all hope seems lost. All in all, it teaches us how we overcome any obstacles or even negative experiences so that we can discover God’s purpose in our identity.”
This year’s celebration of Purim at Beit Tehila will include an engaging set of worship, interpretive dance, voice over and more. Purim will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 26. Beit Tehila is located at 1705 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 654-2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.ToPraise.net.