I’m eating oatmeal with Anne Elise’s left-over haroset (yummy!) and watching the snow lazily drift down on my blooming Bradford Pears and plum trees, who look mildly shocked by this early spring snow. The Passover serving plates have been washed, along with 2 dishwasher loads of dishes from the matzoh ball soup, brisket, mashed potatoes, salad and asparagus, with one more load to go. All the matzoh crumbs are shaken off into the yard to feed the birds, and there’s a load of grape-juice stained cloths in the washing machine that I’m hoping will come out clean, but I’m not holding my breath. Here are some observations and memories from our never-picture-perfect Passover…
While I was in the planning stage for the seder, I was hoping to eat outside, under the weeping cherry tree. There were at least 15 people invited and we don’t exactly have a huge indoor space. I pictured candles and beautiful cherry blossoms all around. Instead, we were thankful for the warmth of the matzoh ball soup eaten around the dining room table indoors. And no, there were no blooms on the weeping cherry to float down on us. While we ate and talked and laughed, the snow whirled, fell and surprisingly didn’t melt. The gift of beautiful weather I wanted was not what I got, but the beautiful snow was an unexpected gift of beauty. Be content with the gifts God gives (even if it’s not your first choice!) instead of pining for the gifts He doesn’t. He knows what He’s doing and why, even if we don’t. Enjoy beauty right where you are!
We broke the matzoh bread, drank the fruit of the vine, kids asked questions, adults answered, and we all remembered. How interesting that so many of the Old Testament holidays involve lighting the candles and some sort of bread and wine. I AM the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, and the Vine are all over the Old Covenant and point the way to the New. If only we’ll take time to look for these foreshadowings of things to come in the New Testament (and beyond!)
After we read from our abbreviated hagadah, we ate, and then while the kids played, the adults sat around and talked and laughed. Passover is all about remembering God’s faithfulness, grace and mercy in Egypt and through Jesus. Interspersed between the stories of bonfires out of control and funny relatives were personal stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives. God’s steadfast love, mercy, grace and faithfulness didn’t end at the cross. It continues today! And how beautiful to hear the stories–His stories–woven into the tapestry our lives, and even better with the story of the Passover Lamb still in our ears.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)
Instead of standing outside and reading Don Finto’s essay about Passover under a clear sky in the warm spring air as we usually do, we read inside in the den because of the frigid wind and snow. As everyone was leaving, the snowfall slackened, and the clouds framed the full moon for a fleeting moment. The same moon on the very same night 3500 years after the first Passover in Egypt and 2000 years after Jesus and the disciples celebrated Passover, then walked to the Mount of Olives and prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. I am awed that He knows the end from the beginning, and is the keeper of the clock–that His timing is perfect, even when mine is not. Trust Him who knows all things!
Every year, I learn something new from our Passover celebration and love it even more. To spend a night with dear friends and all our kids, being thankful for the eternal faithfulness of God, enjoying good food and laughing together is truly a gift.