Today is Good Friday....the day Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world. This year, more than any year before, I've put lots of thought into The Cross and what it meant for Jesus to do what He did. Over the past week I've spent time meditating on the words Jesus spoke from the cross and over His last few days walking the earth, I've watched a play about it and discussed the ramifications with my friends, and then last night I went to a Seder...which is the Jewish Passover meal (although I am not Jewish and the traditional day for the meal was days before).
My friend Laura knows a Christian family who puts on this meal every year, for the last several years
and this year invited her (and thus me) to join. Since they aren't actually Jewish the symbolism of the meal was explained both in how Jews would understand it and then also with things added in about how for us Christians Jesus is the Fulfillment. It was by far one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of!
For one...I knew only one person at the table and yet in that moment we were all ONE. In fact during one of the pourings of the cup (There are four times through out the meal that your cup gets filled and you all drink together, each with a different meaning... the first representing Sanctification,the second Instruction, the third Redemption, and the fourth Praise) I looked around the room and was in awe that here we were... young and old, strangers and friends, former Catholics and former Jehovah Witnesses and fully committed never turning Christians...all dinning and celebrating together! It was, to me,such a great representation of what the body of Christ is and should be...and I was truly touched!
Then I was also touched by parts of the actual ceremony. Between the pouring of the second cup and the actual drinking of it, there was a responsive reading called "We should of be Content" where the "father" of the table goes phrase by phrase, through Jewish history from the time of exile all the way to the building of the actual temple, with the rest of us repeating "We should have been content" after each line. At the very end the "father" says, "But praise the Lord! God provided eternal salvation through the sacrifice of our messiah"! As we read through it all I couldn't help but think how much God has done for us...all of us! He's gone so far above and beyond....even when we've failed to be grateful! He's just given and given...even to the point of death! How could I do anything but Praise the Lord!!!
I've never done anything like this before....and the fact that it was an experience I could share with my friend (and it fell on Holy Thursday), made it all the more special to me. Who knows, maybe next year (or one of the years after that) I'll start this tradition myself.