Thursday, April 28, 2011


My senior year of high school, my parents befriended a guy at church who was Jewish, and a member of our Christian church. He called himself Messianic Jewish, and he started teaching them all sorts of stuff about how the Christian church has travelled so far away from our Jewish roots and all the great stuff we were missing out on. They ate it up, as did my 7th grade sister. But to me, getting ready to graduate and move on with my life, it was more of a nuisance.

I moved off to college and they continued learning all sorts of stuff, and I thought it was cool enough, but I was glad it didn't affect me. I'm not a big fan of change. I graduated and started teaching, still on my own, and then my sister went away to college and got involved in a Messianic club on campus and started attending a Messianic Fellowship...I mean, she just went crazy with all this Jewish stuff. And I still thought of it as cool for her (at best) and annoying for me (at worst).

But somehow over the years, she/they got to me. And I started realizing how much these traditions and Biblical commands and customs still should be a part of our lives today...and how much they enrich our faith in Jesus Christ. It's awesome!

So five years ago, my sister and I hosted our first Passover Seder dinner at my church. It was such a success that we did it again the next year. Then she moved back to Israel and another woman from church who is just as passionate about these things stepped up and led it (while I did the food) the next two years. But this year, she has been plagued with health problems and had to step out. And my sister is still in Israel. So...gulp...I was left to lead it alone. And just in case I was considering chickening out, God ensured I didn't have that option, because the pastoral staff stuck it on our calendar and the Easter schedule and in the programs before I had the chance. Now mind you, I am perfectly comfortable with all the behind the scenes stuff like cooking the meal and preparing the Seder plates, etc. But leading a group through all the prayers and blessings and the symbolism pointing to Jesus (and the Hebrew!)...that's totally out of my comfort zone! I don't know what I'm doing!

Fast forward to present, I can look back and say this was my best Passover yet. Our family stuck all our bread and yeast products in the freezer and subsisted on leaven-free meals like matzah pizza all week, I poured over the internet and others' Haggadahs (the spoken/read order of the seder) and developed my own (without Hebrew!), my parents cooked up a storm...and we did it! And it was really cool and meaningful. There was even a Jewish lady (non-Christian), who thanked me at the end and was smiling. (Either she was really polite, or I didn't botch it that bad!) (And maybe she even took something away that will start her on a path to discover Jesus as her Messiah...Wouldn't that be cool!) Oh, and Jadon looked really cute in the yarmulke with fake Orthodox curls from Sarah and Greg. :o)

Thank you God for stretching us out of our comfort zones in order to help us learn and grow!

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