Thursday, August 06, 2009

Make Some Serious NOISE

I have to be honest with you. When we planned our message series through the book of Esther, we really saw it as a simple summer series to kind of keep things maintained until fall rolled around and we were ready to once again ramp things up. But to our amazement, surprise and delight, God has used this series in ways we never imagined. As we have looked at this book that never mentions the name of God, never gives a title for God, and never even uses a pronoun referring to God, we have seen over and over the powerful principle that God is always working behind the scenes. He may be invisible, but He is always at work. The feedback we have received verbally and in writing through this series has exceeded any previous series I can remember.

And now this Sunday we bring it all to a close and we are going to do so in a very unique way. We are going to wrap up our message series in Esther by asking those in attendance to make some series noise throughout the message. We are going to be experiencing a little bit of the Jewish feast of Purim. The term “Purim” comes from the word “Pur” which means “lot”. Remember that in the story, Haman used lots (the “Pur”) to determine his “lucky day” for the extermination of all Jewish people in Persia.

This Jewish feast of Purim is a yearly remembrance and celebration of how God used both Esther and Mordecai to save the Jewish people. It includes fasting since Esther and all the Jews fasted for three days prior to the queen risking her life by going before the king unannounced. It also includes gift giving as well. But one of the most unique parts of this celebration is the reading of the story of Esther. But as the story is read, the people participate. Every time the name of evil Haman is mentioned, the people boo and hiss. In fact, the children use chalk to write the name “Haman” on the bottom of their shoes so they are walking on their enemy. But every time the name of Mordecai or Esther are mentioned in the story, the people applaud and cheer. Well, we are going to do some things along the same line Sunday that I believe will allow us to never forget this amazing story showing that God is always working behind the scenes.

As I retell the story of Esther in our closing message Sunday, we need you to make some serious noise. Here’s how. Every time I mention the name of Haman, we need you to boo and hiss as if your arch rival in football just scored a touchdown. Along the same lines, every time I mention the name of Esther, we need all of you to applaud and cheer as if your team just scored the winning touchdown. And now comes the clincher…we will be giving everyone who attends this Sunday a type of “noise maker” as you enter the service. Every time I mention the name of Mordecai (and only when I moention the name of Mordecai), I need all of you to use your noise makers and literally make some serious noise.

It will be different that anything you have ever done in church, but if we can scream and cheer our heads off when our team makes the big play or wins the big game, shouldn’t we be just as revved up over the spiritual heroes of the Bible? So come to church this Sunday here at Grace and be ready to make some serious noise.

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