On Maundy Thursday we celebrated Passover with a Seder. With family and a few close friends, we shared a Messianic liturgy and traditional foods. Passover is the celebration of the freeing of God's people from slavery to the Egyptians. It has been observed by the Jews for over 3,500 years. Those of us who believe in Jesus as the Messiah see how the promise of His coming is tied into so many of the ancient customs. When Jesus instituted "the Lord's Supper" or Holy Communion with his disciples, they were celebrating Passover. He showed them that he is our Passover sacrifice, our freedom from bondage, and our redemption.
Participating in such an ancient and somber celebration is truly meaningful for me. My family has observed the Seder every year as long as I can remember, and it was a pleasure to carry on the traditions and to share them with my new family. It's deeply meaningful to take on the role that my mother held for so many years (and still holds for her own household), cooking food for Passover and getting everything together. It's like when you celebrate Christmas in your own home as a young adult for the first time, except it is so much more.
My in-laws helped cook and made wonderful salad, roasted lamb and stuffings, and delicious cakes. They truly made over-the-top delicious food. I'm sure we all felt quite spoiled. I made the indispensable traditional foods: tzimmes, matzo ball soup, and matzo crunch cookies.
I suppose traditions are more important to me than I once thought. They provide a steadiness year after year, a sort of security in an ever-changing world. The holidays should serve to help us remember where we come from. The Hebrew people are a family into which we have been adopted as God's sons and daughters. With gratitude and joy we remember how God spared His people and kept them pure in order to bring forth our Savior. It's so good to set aside days every year to remind ourselves of His faithfulness, His goodness, His unfailing love, and His sacrifice. On these days we thank Him for what He has done, and we have an opportunity to teach our children. Ritual and tradition can be used to beautiful ends.
If you ever have a chance to take part in a Seder, I would encourage you to do it.
For my part, my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness.
|Next year in New Jerusalem!|