Pillowy green grass, pollen stained shoes, cool breezes, & cloudy blue skies – that’s what comes to mind when I think of Easter. Each Spring my alma mater puts on an annual Easter Pageant portraying the life of Jesus; most importantly His crucifixion & spoiler alert: resurrection. Each of the four years I attended, you could find me at practice in the weeks leading up to the pageant as a crowds person. I have had the privilege of watching friends portray various roles, making the greatest & truest story ever told come to life. The tradition has given new perspective to a story I’ve know since I can remember.
Hope you enjoy these throwback photos. (We were so glad when they nixed the stage makeup…#cheetoface.)
Though I’ve graduated & moved I still want to put myself in a position of remembrance & reverence as Easter is observed. Think about it. The whole point of celebrations is to remember. We celebrate birthdays to remember & honor the day the people we love most joined the world. We celebrate anniversaries to remember wedding days, where our love started & where it’s going. We celebrate historical events like Independence Day to remember where we came from & how we can keep pushing for better.
This year I wanted to participate in the ancient festival of Passover with a Seder meal. Judaism is not my heritage but it was Jesus’. In fact, this is a tradition that started before Jesus walked on the earth & it’s something He would have grown up participating in. Passover is the celebration of God passing over the homes of the Israelites, sparing their firstborn sons. It’s the meal Jesus & His disciples were sharing in that became the Last Supper; the night Jesus was arrested to be crucified.
“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus & asked, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man & tell him. ‘Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate Passover with my disciples at your house.’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them & prepared the Passover.”Matthew 26:17-19
I’ve honestly been waiting to host this for a couple years now but needed the right group & my community group gals were immediately down for it when I tossed out the idea. Everyone signed up to bring an element of the meal & I started dreaming of a pallet picnic.
Probably a month ago, I dragged a wooden pallet home from work because I knew my dream of a pallet picnic would happen some day & this was the day! I think because Easter Pageant is an outdoor production I just had it in my head that this needed to be a meal shared outside. Jesus had a prepared upper room, we had a…uh…lower ground. 🤷🏼♀️😂
Our community group leader sent me a guide for hosting a traditional Passover Seder. Now again with the disclaimer that I am not Jewish…we were not as concerned with following everything to a T so I took the liberty of shorting & adding as desired & turned it into this guide.
Car loaded, I made a stop at Office Depot to print the guides, then, to Trader Joe’s for fresh flowers & I was off to the park to set up.
To make any space (indoor or outdoor) cozy & inviting – you want to appeal to all the senses. Smell: remember the luminaries from 4th of July last summer? Yeah, these will be a staple in every outdoor part of mine. Sight: the quilts & pallet paired with the various heights serving dishes & fresh greenery played on different textures. All the wood used took me to the cross & the flowers – a promise of new life in Him. Sound: I’m a firm believer in background music. It changes a space instantly. I brought my Bluetooth speaker to play some good ‘ol worship music to keep our hearts tuned to the reason for our gathering.
“As they were eating, Jesus took some bread & blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces & gave it to the sickles, saying, ‘Take & eat it, for this is my body.’ And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them & said, ‘Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God & his people. Mark my words-I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”Matthew 26:26-29
This post was originally published April 21, 2022 but somehow I unknowingly goofed it up as I was preparing an Instagram post from this blog post for today. I say all of this to say that most of it saved (yay!) but other parts disappeared & I don’t remember how I closed the OG post out (booooo!). So you get get my 2023 Easter thoughts as a benediction now.
I just finished streaming Easter Pageant & you know what stuck out to me this year? Jesus is literally on the cross saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. Each year during Holy Week, I am reminded in a more tangible way than any other time of the year, of the sweetness of Jesus. He wrapped himself in flesh to walk with us. To show us God on Earth. To seal the covenant on our behalf. That, I, a sinner might be saved, undeservedly but humbly & gratefully.
Tomorrow night rather than a whole Seder Meal, my community group & I will break my first sourdough venture together as part of communion. We’ll read scripture to remember & wonder. I hope you’re able to sit in the meaning of this week & celebrate so hard on Sunday!
Wanna chat more about this whole Easter thang?! Feel free to email email@example.com. 🙂
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