According to Rabbinic law Passover begins at sunset the evening before. The day is set apart to remember how the angel of death "passed over" those children of Israel obedient to God's instructions. My father informed me that "Resurrection Sunday" is always the Sunday after Passover, "the first Sunday after the first full moon after the sun crosses the equator." I do not know why this definition always stuck vividly in mind.
Two Passovers back, my sister, Diane, and I attended a "Messianic Seder," that is a Seder dinner hosted by a group who see the Passover celebration as "fulfilled" by the coming of the Messiah -- Jesus Christ. Having been reared in a conservative Protestant home, Seder was definitely a new and enriching experience for us.
Not Passover, but Easter Sunday was the very special day in the home in which Diane, our brother Terry and I were reared. Of course when we were very young the "Easter Bunny" brought a basket of candy and decorated eggs. Our mother, perhaps the wisest woman to walk the earth, "allowed" us the treat of actually eating an Easter egg for breakfast -- candy had to wait until after church.
The highlight of Easter was going to church. Easter Sunday service was always good for some kind of treat being handed out by the deacons. Most importantly, we were duly instructed, was the preaching of the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus. This, we came to understand, was the reason for the day -- the bunny thing just happened to occur on the same weekend. We were children and there was neither place to doubt our parents nor reason to consider the traditions of the Rabbis. As often are children of devouts, worldview encompasses what is taught.
Now we hope to start, and invite you to join in a new tradition. On Monday, April 18, at 6 p.m., Christ Community Church in Brazil will host our first Passover Seder Dinner.
"The Passover dinner shows the link between the ancient Festival of the Passover and Christ as the Lamb of God. You will actually see a table set with traditional Passover items. During the dinner we will be using Scripture as well as the visual items to walk through a Jewish Passover Seder, weaving the story of the Exodus together with the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The words He spoke in the upper room come alive as each Hebraic item is carefully explained."
The Passover Diner is open to all seeking to know about both Christian belief and Jewish traditions, and maybe just willing to go beyond childhood's gravitations. If you are interested in participating in the Passover Dinner please let Christ Community know that proper preparations are made. There is no cost to attend.
Seems to this product of a conservative Protestant home like a good chance to add a new Easter tradition.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.