Many, many years ago some friends of ours introduced us to celebrating a passover seder dinner. We have celebrated it every year since. Although the Jewish observance of Passover doesn’t always line up with Easter, we always celebrate it during Holy Week. As Christians we celebrate the Lord’s Supper frequently as a reminder of Jesus’s sacrifice and his last night. A Passover Seder dinner is the full version of what Jesus would have partaken of on that last night of his life.
I found Celebrating Biblical Feasts by Martha Zimmerman to be a great resource. We use her Messianic Haggadah every year. It is a very good version for doing as a family and isn’t quite as long as a traditional haggadah. You can download a copy of it here
Seder dinner is an interactive reading with foods representing different parts of the story. Everyone has a copy of a haggadah that they read from. Some parts the leader reads, some parts are responses read by the rest of the family. Even the smallest child gets a part. I recommend reading through it ahead of time so you will be prepared. The whole reading and dinner takes about an hour and a half. Make sure to have your dinner all prepped and ready to go. The meal is served about 45 minutes into the ceremony.
What you need for the Ceremony:
- Place settings for the number of people you have invited plus one more for Elijah
- A copy of the Haggadah for each person
- A jacket to put on the back of the chair for each person
- A pillow on for the seat of the leader
- At least two white cloth napkins for covering the afikomen (we use Matzo crackers)
- Two candles on the table (lighting them will be included in the ceremony)
- A pitcher, bowl and towel are also needed for the hand washing ceremonies.
- A small bowl of salt water for each person
- Plenty of Wine or Grape Juice
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We have found that by practicing Passover we can pause as a family to appreciate the salvation we have received through Jesus. It shows God’s plan all through history to provide a sacrifice once and for all through his Son. So many times in our culture holidays turn into another reason to stuff ourselves with sweets and be greedy. This holiday slows everything down and helps us to focus on what really matters. I hope that it can be a blessing for your family as well.
We who are Christians can rejoice as we keep the Passover in remembrance of our own slavery to sin. We know that with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm the Lord our God rescued us. So that is why, even though we might all be wise, learned, full of experience and understanding, knowing God’s Word well, it is still our responsibility to tell the story of the going out from Egypt and to praise the Lord.Celebrating Biblical Feasts
Here in the Northern United States spring is always tricky to catch. The calendar might say that it comes on March 20th but every year is different. This year there is thick, icy snow still on the ground from our record breaking cold February and early March but you can feel the sunshine warming the earth and tugging on your soul to search for signs of spring. Calves are multiplying. The days are getting longer. The snow is receding ever so slowly (but a rapid warm up would destroy us with flooding).
Suddenly 40 degrees feels like a heat wave. It is amazing how much difference just 10 degrees makes! This is the time of year that the wind is welcome as it takes the melted snow away into the air instead of flooding my garage. In just a couple weeks the daffodils will make their appearance and we will know spring has truly arrived (even if a stray snowstorm comes our way, the snow won’t last). The winter spell has been broken.
It is true in our lives too. We often long for sudden changes. For the hard season to just be over so we could move on to the more pleasant days. But is that what we truly need? It seems to me that a slower change bends us and moves us without breaking us. As we approach this new season I like to sit down and do some evaluations. What is the state of my heart? Are there things I need to address? What does our schedule look like? Am I accomplishing the things I need to on a daily basis? What are things that my efforts would be best used on right now? What is my next right thing?
One of my favorite people, Emily P Freeman, is about to release a book to help you discern what your next right thing is. Not only that but she has some amazing bonuses for people who pre-order her book. She is offering immediate access to her online course Discern & Decide for free!! She is also offering her audio version of the book when it releases. Here is a link if you need help in discerning your next right thing.
May this spring awaken you from your winter slumber and pull you into the sun where you will receive new life to go forth in the coming days.