This time of year can be very confusing. We get into the grey Easter-Passover area that connects both faiths. Both religious observances are celebrated within the same time frame. But what does Passover mean to a Christian? This is the time of year when we unite with our Jewish brethren and celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. Both celebrations seem to merge into one belief: that God takes care of us.
The epic story of the Exodus from Egypt has been the catalyst of our faith in God. It is an amazing event even by today’s standards that God’s perseverance led the Israelites out of bondage to the promised land. It is why as Christians we observe Seder suppers on Maundy Thursday. Albeit for different reasons, we walk in the footsteps of those who thousands of years ago walked through the desert to establish God’s presence. A land that through the centuries was fought over, conquered, lost , and reclaimed again only to remain The Promised Land.
As a Christian; I think that Passover is God’s love for us extended beyond comprehension. It is also a wonderful opportunity to bridge the often wide gap in our two faiths; because for a fleeting moment in time we unite at the Seder table as Christian and Jew; and remember. I have attended Seder suppers before; joint events led by pastors and rabbis. Both reading the Old Testament, and both reflecting on God’s love symbolized in the celebration of Passover. During these Seder suppers, we did not dwell on our differences, but on our communality in knowing and believing that God can accomplish anything.
Maundy Thursday, is the commemoration of Passover. We mention it in all our readings and in participation of a Seder Supper. Yet Christians miss the point. We do not realize that Passover is what we observe on Maundy Thursday. Without even realizing it, we become part of that Exodus to freedom. Passover is the celebration of God’s salvation, not as Christians or Jews; but as one people worshiping and loving the same God.
Hag Pesach sameach!