I love making these kinds of deliveries!
These days of Purim shall be observed at their proper time, as Mordecai the Jew--and now Queen Esther--has obligated them to do, and just as they have assumed for themselves and their descendants the obligation of the fasts with their lamentations.
And Esther`s ordinance validating these observances of Purim were recorded in a scroll.
--from the Book of Esther 9:31 &32
We celebrate Purim on the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which this year was this past week.
The same days on which the Jews enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. --Esther 9:22aA dear friend recently shared that she would be celebrating her first Purim. She wrote to ask me to confirm what it is we are supposed to do and if she was missing anything. I was happy to hear that she would be sharing in the joy of Purim for all God`s people!! If you are considering celebrating your first Purim, we can see right in the Book of Esther how to do so!
We are told these things to do at Purim:
They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor. ---Esther 9:22bIn this post I want to share one of them, that is sending gifts!
In Hebrew, it is `Mishloach Manot`!
Since I began celebrating Purim again in my born-again life in Japan, I have enjoyed choosing and sending them to my family in the US by internet, but this year I also wanted to connect with the people in my near community, so this was my first time in my adult life to make Mishloach Manot gifts to `send`.
There are different ways to do it, but the fun thing is, doing it!!
As you know I live in a city and in a state ( Prefecture) where I haven`t yet found even one other person who observes Shabbat or the Feast days of ADONAI, so it has been a challenge, and recently I have been seeking God to help me to find people and ways to share them with.
This time I didn`t have to look far for the way, its right there in His Word!!
The sending of portions, or Mishloach Manot, seemed perfect and it is something we are told to do, so I set out to get some supplies and make a few to start!
I got some cute boxes from the 100 yen shop (thats like the dollar store!).
I put in some homemade hamantashen.
Next, I had an inspriation because the Book of Esther is read as a `scroll` or `Megillah`, I took some pretty origami paper and made little scrolls with a few scriptures to include in the boxes. I made an English version, and a Japanese version, depending on who would be the recipient. It was also good practice to write scriptures in Japanese, as I recently purchased a new Japanese Bible!!
These Misloach-manot. are unique Japanese Purim Gift boxes, as they include original Cherry Blossom hamantashen.(see post HERE and one to follow!) and some other Japanese touches like the origami paper. You can make yours unique with what you have special where you are.
I delivered the first to a friend and neighbor just a short bicycle ride away.
I rang her bell, and it was such a nice face to face moment. That is something wonderful too about this thousands of year old observance. Of course, we can send through the internet too, but this year it was the face to face that I have been seeking!
I even received a food assortment as a gift in return! Totally unexpected. It took me by surprise.
On the second gift box that I delivered I got an even greater surprise. When I gave it to the person, this one with a Japanese `scroll`, there just happened to be another person there who knew a little about the Bible, and so we got into a conversation. I ran and got my Japanese Bible to share about the holiday with them. The person who I gave the box to hadn`t read the Bible before, so I handed it her to look at, and once it was in her hands.... one thing led to another and in the most natural way,
I was able to leave her with not only the gift box but with the Japanese Bible as well!!
One of the things is that we see in the Purim story is God working behind the scenes in the exact timing of all the meetings and miracles. In our everyday life we can also see how God is working out all the details and timings, and pouring His Spirit out on people at His timing, and it was clear in that brief moment of giving that he made hearts open to Him. It was an unexpected and wonderful Purim surprise that the Bible would be a part of my first Mishloach manot!! Praise God! I give thanks to His Salvation. Yeshua. For showing me that Purim is about preserving His word and making Him known in our world!!
Your word is a lamp to my feet,
a light for my path.
Blessings and Shalom! Love, Shayndel
|This one also included Halvah, from Israel!!|
|I really need to practice my Japanese writing, but meanwhile this is where I am so I will include it in my Purim package!|
|Psalm 47:1 and Esther 9:28 are the scriptures I selected in this box|
|It also was a graduation week in Japan, and this recipient has a son who graduated from High School, same age as my daughter, so the scroll like this has a timely-ness!! Below, you can see I added a cherry blossom on the box for a finishing touch. These Misloach-manot. are unique Japanese Purim Gift boxes, as they include Cherry Blossom hamantashen.|
Your decrees are my eternal heritage:
they are my heart`s delight.