Pesach began at sundown last night. Because of a Board meeting I wasn’t able to be home with my family and so we will celebrate a shabbas seder on Friday. Yes, we’ll be having our seder meal on Good Friday. It seems fitting for an interfaith family. I love Pesach and the seder. The story of slavery and liberation is powerful. I won’t preach my sermon again here, but I think the Passover story is relevant to all of us. I’ll be glad to sit with my children and friends and tell it again this year.
The tricky part of having Passover and Holy Week coincide is all the Christian churches that are holding seders. I think that unless there is a deep understanding of Pesach on its own merits, these seders are likely to be the worst of Christianity coopting the holy stories of Judaism into their own story. I imagine all those Christians coming away saying, “I understand Passover. It’s when God said Jesus would take the place of the sacrifice of the paschal lamb.” That may be a common Christian interpretation, but it is not the Pesach story. The Pesach story isn’t about Jesus. It’s about God and the Hebrew people. It is their holy story, not precursor nor a foil to the Jesus story. Christian appropriation of this story is certainly not necessary. The Jesus story is enough on its own. The urge to cast Judaism as “unfinished” or “primitive” without the Jesus story, is a sad consequence of centuries of Christian anti-semitism. I wish we would become wise enough not to perpetuate that.
Well, today is a day of running around getting ready for the seder, enjoying an amazing Spring day, and preparing for Easter weekend. I hope, whatever your tradition, you have a wonderful day!