The desire was tucked in my heart last year to celebrate Passover after taking a Biblical holiday class with the teens. My dear sister-in-law also introduced me to Holy Experience and I so agree with Ann's reasons for the celebration here. But God used a passage of Scripture referenced in the Experiencing God study I was taking at the time just before Passover last year, to move me to action:
From Hebrews 11:24-28:
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter...
By faith Moses left Egypt...
By faith he kept the Passover..."
Our first Passover Seder was a precious remembrance.
Preparations started early Passover morning by the light of the lamb lamp on my desk in the dining room. The kitchen work went smoothly with Victoria Leigh as my helper.We were instructed to put a low floral arrangement on the table. The red and white tulips from the garden even reflected His sacrifice for us. Ever since we planted tulip bulbs, I've been amazed to see these red and white beauties bloom just in time for our Easter celebrations. Oh, the sweet, sweet love of Jesus!The pitcher and basin we used for hand washing was an antique my dear mother had purchased. It was to be placed on a table nearby along with a towel for drying our hands. We placed the set on the buffet. Our Easter Tree, also inspired by Ann at Holy Experience, is in the background. The hand washing symbolizes the foot washing Jesus did before eating the Passover meal.A table set for the traditional Seder. Small pillows in each chair for leaning, and a script to follow along as we all read and participated in the traditions.On each plate we placed:
Shank bone of lamb - symbolizes the Lamb of sacrifice, as well as deliverance from Egypt.
Bitter herbs - we used horseradish (I have a very small amount on my plate). This symbolizes the bitterness of slavery and sin.
Karpas (a green vegetable, usually parsley or celery) we used parsley. This was dipped in salt water to symbolize the lowly origins of the Jewish people.
Charoset (a mixture of apple, raisins, nuts, cinnamon & honey). This mixture symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews in building during their slavery.
A hard boiled egg - symbol of mourning and Pharaoh's hard heart and also a sign of eternal life.
Matzah (unleavened bread) was in a basket on the table representing Christ and our fruit of the vine, representing His blood, was sparkling grape juice. Also nearby our plates we each had a small bowl of salty water. You can barely see the bowl in the top left hand corner of the picture. The salty water represents the tears shed as a result of slavery. We used a set of china that belonged to my dear mother's mother. The pattern is Queen Esther by Homer Laughlin.Reading the Hallel Psalm 113-118 near the end of the Seder.Our company joined in the celebration. It is time again for Passover and my heart was disappointed that we would not be celebrating the Seder this evening as we were blessed to last year. I am thankful that we are going to be having an Easter meal with our church family this evening and then the teens have several hours of practice again tonight for our church Easter play. So, as I put the nails and a crown of thorns on the mantel this year, I've not been able to get over the heaviness of the nails, the piercing sharpness of the crown and the reality of what Jesus did for me.
The memories of last year's meal and the sweet symbolism of every food and tradition involved is as fresh to me as the dew on these tulips. I thank you Lord for the traditions passed down through time
The symbolism of the Seder is still freshly etched on my mind
Thank you Lord for the perfect example you set
Help me Lord, to never, ever forget
You are the Passover Lamb
The enemy is an impostor, a sham
Help me to praise You Lord for paying the ultimate price and the eternal cost
And not get caught up in any earthly pursuit that amounts to rubbish or dross
Thank You Lord for the nails, the crown, the cross and the empty tomb
You orchestrate symbolism even in the red and white blossoms and blooms
Thank You for the nails, the crown, the cross and the empty tomb
And the hope of all believers - that You will return, oh so soon!
Hosanna! You arose from the tomb and are alive - You are living!
Paving the way for the gifts of grace You are graciously giving
Thank You Lord for the the nails, the crown, the cross and the empty tomb
You are risen! Hosanna! And will return with shouts of glory, soon!