From Seder to Supper

17 Apr

Talking about an Easter text doesn’t seem right on Holy Thursday, so I am going to tell you a story. It is the story when I had my ‘aha’ moment about what was going on during Jesus’ Last Supper.

I was in my senior year at University of Maryland and a good friend, Mary Rombro, invited me to her home for a Passover Seder. [A Catholic boy and I were the only two gentiles in the room that night.] Mary’s family had pushed a number of tables together in a big downstairs. About 30 people had a place to sit and a copy of the Passover service, the Haggadah. And the meal took about three hours.

You might know, that a seder is a memorial meal of the house of Israel journey to freedom through the sea. The language to God’s provision and protect of God’s people permeated my brain that night. The use of food as symbol brought new meaning to the bread and juice used for the meal. This central story of salvation for the Jewish people came alive as we remember the hardship of the people of God in slavery, as we recited the plague God used to convince Pharaoh to release the people, and as we once more walked with the people of God through the water of the sea to new life. The images became vibrant and alive as I sat stumbling along through the meal that Mary’s family repeated year after year.

The night after this wonderful experience was Holy Thursday. I went to a service offered at the United Methodist Church on the edge of the college campus. I had been to this holy week service before, but this time there was a new and deeper understanding of that night in Jesus’ life. Each word and each symbol seemed to draw from the depths of creation God’s desire for freedom for the people of God. The bread that was broken, the blood that was split was to path to wholeness, and liberation.

I think what impressed me that night, and has continued to resonate with me throughout my life, is that God is always calling out to the people. A call to lead them out of a life of slavery, pain and broken, and into healing, wholeness, and hope. God has used the ordinary objects and experiences of the people of God to create an extraordinary opportunity of a relationship with the eternal and everlasting Divine.

Tonight you have an opportunity to draw close to the power of God. You have the opportunity to remember not only the meal that Jesus shared with his friends, but the meal that brought freedom for the people of Israel. It is a meal immersed the deepest desire of God’s heart for our freedom and our life grounded and rooted in God’s love.

Peace

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One Response to “From Seder to Supper”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger April 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I love the sentence that says God uses ordinary objects to create an extraordinary opportunity! Amen!!

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