Every year, my husband Patrick and I lead a Passover Seder with several friends. It’s been one of the highlights of our year, and we’ve so enjoyed walking through the ceremony. I’m so grateful to have my friend Rabbi Evan Moffic on the blog today to share a unique (and accurate) perspective on Passover.
Seven years ago I received an unexpected invitation. The senior pastor of a neighboring church invited me to teach an eight-session class on the Hebrew prophets. I was fresh out of rabbinical school, and eager to share my knowledge and passion, so I accepted. The only time we could find was 8:00 am on Sunday morning—and it was February in Chicago.
I came to class the first day expecting about three people. 25 showed up. Next week 32 came. By the end we had 80 students. I thought, “Perhaps I’m just an amazing teacher,” but then I remembered only about 12 people came to my synagogue classes.
People at the church came because they wanted to learn more about the roots of Christianity. They came because they had Jewish members of their immediate or extended families. They came to understand more about the Jewish context from which Jesus came and taught.
Why It Matters
The next class I taught focused on the Jewish holidays. Many students connected with Passover. This is not surprising. Churchgoing Christians celebrate Jesus’ Passover when they take Communion, and many Christian communities specifically recall Jesus’ Last Supper on Holy Thursday.
And in recent years, a growing number of Christians have been attending Passover seders at the homes of Jewish friends or relatives, or celebrating their own seders in their church communities. President Obama even hosts a Passover seder at the White House. People want to learn about and experience the oldest story of freedom.
What Was Missing
Yet, when I looked for resources to share with those interested in exploring Passover more on their own, I came away empty. That’s why I wrote the book What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover.
It tells the Passover story. It reveals Jewish legends and interpretations of those stories previously available only in Hebrew. And it offers a script for a Passover meal so Christians can celebrate it in their homes and churches.
Ultimately, for people of faith, the Exodus story is not just about the past. It is about God’s redemptive power today. And it is about the way that power can transform each of us.
We all search for freedom in our lives—from addictions, from unhealthy relationships, from idols like success or perfection. Passover tells us God wants to grow and escape the narrowness that traps us.
For those who purchase the book now, I have several special bonuses. These include copy of my book of sermons, Words of Wisdom: From the Torah to Today; a video series about What Every Christian Needs to Know about Modern Israel; and your own personalized script for the Passover meal. Shalom!