Passover

I wonder what I would have felt if I were at the first Passover.

What would I have thought when I heard the voice of God say,

“And keep the (Festival of) matzot! For on this same day I have brought out your forces from the land of Egypt. Keep this day throughout your generations as a law for the ages.” - Exodus 12:17 (Everett Fox)

Would I have believed that there would be future generations to keep a festival to God? Would I have laughed at the thought that “on this same day” I would be free? Would I have acted in the faith that what had been true for 400 years would no longer be true tomorrow?

I wonder what I would have felt if I were at the second Passover.

What would I have thought when I heard the voice of God say,

“The Children of Israel are to sacrifice the Passover-offering at its appointed time: On the fourteenth day after this New-Moon between the setting-times, you are to sacrifice it at its appointed-time; According to all its laws, according to all its regulations, you are to sacrifice it.” - Numbers 9:2-3 (Everett Fox)

Would I have believed that it had been a year? Would I be experiencing myself as free? Would I be looking back at Mitzrayim (the Hebrew word for Egypt, meaning “narrow place”) with longing for the food I used to eat there? Would I feel grateful for the change or bitter that I was still not in the land of promise? Would I be willing to look at the ways I had left the narrow place, but, perhaps, the narrow place had not yet left me?

I wonder what I would have felt if I were at the first Passover in the Promised Land.

What would I have thought when I heard the Lord name the place Gilgal, saying

“Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” - Joshua 5:9 (ESV)

Would I have wondered why God was bringing up the past on a day that was about the future?

What would I have thought when my experience suddenly changed from the predictability of everything I had ever known to a taste of what was to come?

While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. - Joshua 5:10-11 (ESV)

Would I act on the faith that everything that had been true for 40 years would no longer be true tomorrow? Would I be able to tell the story the narrow place my parents had been trapped, a land which I had never experienced? Would I be able to see that the Passover was not just for them, but for me?

The Passover was not a one and done event. It was a day that became an invitation. It is a remembrance and a call- a day to lift our eyes and see the God that frees people from narrow places- then, now, and always.

Every year, we are offered the opportunity to examine our lives; to wonder if the same thing that has always been true need not be true anymore, to walk away from the places that give us abundance but trap us in the narrowness of lost humanity, to take stock of the choices we have made since the last Passover and wonder how we are re-building Mitzrayim in our new neighborhoods.

What invitation might Passover hold this year?

I have some ideas about my own life. There’s a way God seems to squeeze narrow places even tighter before Passover… It gets a little harder to avoid or numb when the patterns and trappings are grabbing my shoulders and spitting me in the face. The question is, when it’s time, will I see clearly enough to know what that squeeze is from, and what then, I need to leave? And will I trust that my life could change the very next day?

I hope so. For me. For you. For all of us.

Love,

Steph

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You are invited to join us on April 6, 2019.

Passover has changed over time. For Jewish people, the remembrance was pushed to take a new form when the Temple was lost. For Christians, the remembrance was expanded with the words of Jesus.

For both groups, and for any spiritual seeker, the Seder meal can be an opportunity to engage in a conversation about the past, present, and future. It is a place of symbolism, engaging all our senses in memory, loss, and hope. It is an invitation to wonder at how we are seeing our lives, and whether God might be calling us to leave something once again.

When we sit around a table, eat a matzot cracker and ask why a food that is rooted in the word “to drain out” is the symbol of what God does through Passover, we enter into the flow of history. We trust that God is real and at work in the world, just as God has been with every generation.

We would love to see you at our Seder Experience. Registration is found by clicking HERE.