This past week I participated in a truly remarkable picnic. No, it wasn’t outside. No, there wasn’t any potato salad. It was a Passover Meal.
Every other year, on Maundy Thursday, our Lutheran church hosts this meal as a remembrance of Jesus and his disciples honoring the tradition of the Passover in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery.
This meal was prepared by a devoted group of members, eaten without plates or silverware, and accompanied by an explanation of the food and a message by our Pastor. The traditional foods at our meal were:
- roasted lamb – to remind us of the lamb that was sacrificed by the Israelites before their deliverance from slavery as well as the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, to deliver us from sin
- horseradish or bitter herbs – to remind us of the bitter suffering of the Israelites as slaves and the suffering Jesus endured on the cross
- unleavened bread – to remind us of the urgency in which the Israelites ate with no time to allow the bread to rise
- egg – a symbol of new life
- fruit, dates, nuts – a sweet mixture when made into a paste symbolizes the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks while in slavery
- parsley/lettuce – symbolic of springtime, the traditional Passover season
The tradition of this meal served the purpose of teaching children about their history so they would never forget what God did to save their ancestors. We follow this tradition so that we, the children of God never forget what He did to save us.
It is a meal blessed by God, shared with those we love, consisting of simple and meaningful food, in a comfortable place.
It is a picnic.
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