Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lenten Journal Day 37

Father (eldest male): This story has been told for thousands of years; a story about miraculous change from misery to joy, slavery to freedom, sin to grace. One of the last things Jesus did with his disciples was to celebrate Passover and retell the story to them. It's no coincidence Jesus chose the Passover meal for what we now celebrate as the Lord's Supper. Tonight we will be able to see, hear, and taste the great love God has for us!

And so begins the Seder meal, A Passover Haggadah.

It's a transforming meal we celebrate on Maundy Thursday, the day of our Lord's last supper. Deeply spiritual and sensual in nature. Tying us to generations that came before us, reaching back into the history of our people, all people, as we have grown through Christ. This, above all others, is my favorite meal of the year. My children look forward to it as well, for while it feels a bit somber coming the night before we remember Christ's death, it is joyous as well, for we are reenacting Christ's last meal before His resurrection.

Maundy Thursday has also always been one of my favorite church services. Even as a child, I wanted to go to this particular service in holy week more than any other. The whole experience of the day speaks to me, and so I wait for this day to come.

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. Tomorrow I will prepare our table. Tomorrow, as a family, we will celebrate the Passover, and I encourage you to try it as well.

(Click here for a copy of the liturgy and instructions for preparing your table. You can find various versions online as well, though please make sure to get the Christian Passover Haggadah instructions.)

In setting the table and celebrating a liturgy over a meal, it is important to remember not to get intimidated by the preparation. We are to remember that we are Christian at the core, and that we are not perfect. Therefore, we do not need to feel pressure to suddenly produce a perfect Haggadah table or meal. It is the ceremony, the ritual, the sharing of experience with our family that is most important.

Recipe for Haroset (a part of the seder plate):
chopped fresh apples



crushed nuts

kosher red wine (Manischewitz)

Generously sprinkle the cinnamon, honey, and nuts over the chopped apples, then add a good splash of the red kosher wine - Mix all of this together. Cook down in a pot until apples get soft, or bake at 350 degrees in a glass pan for approximately 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Chill. The amounts need to be adjusted for how many people will be at your table.

During the ceremony there is a stopping point for the party to feast on dinner. The ceremonial food is not the full dinner, so we usually have chicken or beef. We avoid pork out of respect for Jewish tradition. Chicken chili, a simple soup, a beef brisket, a roast, and the list could go on, are all acceptable.

Father: When Jesus began his last Passover supper, he offered a cup to his disciples and said, "Take this, all of you, and drink it." Let's hold up our first cup and bless the Lord!

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