Thursday, 9 April 2009

Next Year in Jerusalem Rebuilt

I went to Seder last night, not with people I know from my previous foray into Judaism but with the family of a friend I've known less than a year, but who has become very dear to me in that time.

What a wonderful experience. I have so much missed going to Seder these last few years. There was too much food, of course. There was a good mix of tunes I know and tunes I don't, and I followed those parts of the service in Hebrew better than I expected I would be able to.

I was struck by the contrast with the said Eucharist the night before, so stark and solemn. And yet that level of solemnity is beautiful too, though I can generally appreciate it more if it is sung.

I couldn't help but think that both these stories, ultimately, are about God's mercy, God's redemption: the Passover the rescue of a nation, the Passion the rescue of the world.

And I couldn't help remember, with the bread and the wine, Jesus saying, "Do this in remembrance of me." Which is what I did. How incongruent and yet very fitting to be sitting around a table with twelve other people for Passover as I did so.

Body and Blood? To me, only in a very loose but very real sense: when we eat anything at all we are eating what God has provided, we are consuming manna from heaven. It's a sort of flip side of "whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me." All Creation is God's. When we harm it we bring God pain. When we eat we let God feed us, when we drink it is by God's grace that our thirst is quenched.

We can decide whether (or how?) to serve God in our hearts, thoughts, words, actions. That isn't always easy.

There's something more I'm trying to get at here, something just beneath the surface where I can't find the words. Thoughts?

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