Filipe and I hosted our very first Seder last night- the eve of Passover. A Passover Seder is a ritual meal/ceremony telling the story of how God freed his people from Egypt.
Exodus 3:8 says, “You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'”
This is how the Jewish people teach to their children what God did for them. This is what Jesus grew up doing with his family. It is what He was doing at that Last Supper- right before He was betrayed/arrested.
There is an abundance of symbolism and meaning woven into a Seder all pointing to Jesus. It is quite amazing.
Filipe and I participated in a Seder at our previous church, and we’ve often said we would like to do it again. So this year was the year to start. Two weeks ago we started planning. We made a guest list (limited only by the size of our table) and ordered Seder plates. I got to work on the menu while Filipe prepared the ceremony.
I was so excited about everything that the details didn’t catch up with me until…well, until about eight hours before guest were arriving. There’s one thing Jewish people do well. Detail. Lots and lots of detail. I was just relieved that a real Rabbi wouldn’t be showing up. That and the fact that no one who was coming had been to a Seder before. Whew. Being Jewish for 24 hrs. was quite exhausting. Although I must add that I was not stressed, just going non-stop. (Not sure why you need to know that- except it’s something I’m working on.)
The Menu consisted of:
The Seder Plate: Parsley, Matzah, Horseradish, Lettuce, Charoset (apple, pear, walnut, wine mixture), Shank bone, & Boiled Eggs
Dinner: Matzo Ball Soup, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Lamb Racks (w/ Mint Pesto) & Lamb Leg (w/ Wine Sauce), Quinoa Salad, & Asparagus
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake
Beverage: Wine, Wine, & more Wine…(& water!)
Everything went amazingly well. I’m pretty convinced that God helped me cook the meats. The timing of everything made me so nervous. I had one oven and three meats to roast (& asparagus). And I wanted to keep it all hot during the ceremony part (at least 30-45min). I have never made lamb before and wasn’t confident it would turn out good. I did have chicken- and hey, you can’t mess that up too much.
But, throughout the night I would get a random idea, and do it. Take something out of the oven. Turn up the heat. Cover with foil. Put it back in the oven. Nothing the directions said, nothing on my list.
But it worked, and everyone raved about it. Apparently lamb is supposed to be eaten on the medium-rare side and despite the smoke billowing out of the oven minutes before I put it on the platter, the lamb was nice and rare in the center. Unbelievable. Thank you, Jesus!
Here’s some pictures of the night:
The kids had special parts in the ceremony- going on a “search” for the leaven and finding the afikoman (the middle Matzah broken and hidden representing the body of Jesus). Lily read aloud the 4 questions asked by kids. They all received “prizes” for their participation. (Which is also typical of Jewish Passovers.)
Our first Seder was a success! So rich with meaning, wonderful company, and a great way to kick off Holy week. He IS Risen.