Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pass the Parsley, its Passover!

Jenny and I just got back from having passover with some of our friends, complete with bitter herbs, "new" wine and unleavened bread (but, unfortunately, no lamb). In place of the meal itself was a bowl of lettuce with salad dressing, and a small bowl of hearty soup, but I suppose serving lamb to a large Mormon ward might be a little pricey. The ward had invited a Mormon Jew (or is it Jewish Mormon?) to have the dinner with them and explain all the various parts of it, and of course he tied it all into the New Testament and the Christian symbolism of the meal, ie Christ as the pascal lamb, the bitter herbs representing the bondage of Israel and also our bondage of sin which is washed away with the blood of Christ- the sweet wine. It was interesting to see just how involved that meal is (I really had no idea, it even goes all the way to the seating arrangement, and what order things are eaten and drunk in- wine before bread, wine before bread, and at the end, bread before wine... etc) and that even most non-religious Jews still celebrate passover as a cultural tradition.

It got me inspired to start a new family tradition: to celebrate passover (ok, maybe I just want an excuse to roast a lamb). We humans seem to learn well with symbols, and perhaps no one traditional meal exhibits more symbolism of Christ than passover. It would be a great way for the kids to learn about Israel, Christ, and our relationship with Him (and, as I already stated, a great way to eat lamb). The lessons that can be taught with the passover meal could fill several manuals- atonement, sacrifice, temples, new and everlasting covenant, Elijah, reliance on the Lord, and the list goes on...

Sometimes I wish we had more religious holidays in the church celebrated in a traditional style complete with the symbolism that entails. We as a church seem to put a pretty big emphasis on Christmas and Easter (for obvious reasons), yet we don't really have a systematic, traditional way of celebrating them. We used to- back when the true church was the Jewish church, but it seems one of the byproducts of restoring the church in the "anti-popery" society of New England was the loss of a lot of religious tradition. Nowadays, the actual tradition part is left up to families, which I suppose is good, but then there are so many families that don't get the full symbolism and the lessons that can be taught by using it. I had no idea what all those "extra days" that go along with Easter meant (ash wednesday, palm sunday, good friday, etc) until just a few years ago. I like the easter bunny though, because he brings me candy.

Does anyone else's family have Christmas, Easter, or even passover traditions? What are they like?



5 comments:

Jenny said...

Morgan and Alison and I just finished having dinner together (yummy burritos) and over that dinner it was decided: we will be having a Passover dinner next year. Everyone's invited :)

Nick said...

Am I invited to it?

Jenny said...

Yes. You're included in everyone.

erin said...

I have two books that you might like--one is the Family Haggadah (in Hebrew with English translations AND it opens from the back) and the other one is called "Having a Christ-Centered Easter" which includes recipes for a Passover dinner. Being someone I hope I'm included in everyone?

Jenny said...

Erin, you're not just someone, you're someone with something (namely, the books) so you're included and then some ...