Passover Ponderings

Friends, I was thinking a lot about where we are with this unprecedented situation as it relates to this week’s holy significance for both Jews and Christians around the world. Many have written about Easter and its connection to these unique times. I’d like to take a few minutes to explore Passover — it’s history and possible relevance to what we’re now witnessing.

Leading up to the original Passover, God brought a series of plagues upon the Egyptian people and Pharaoh, to convince them to free the Hebrew slaves. To protect themselves from the final plague – the killing of the first born – the Hebrews were instructed to remain in their homes and place lambs blood on their doorposts as protection and to signal the Angel of Death to pass over their home. After the Egyptian firstborn children died, most notably Pharaoh’s son, the Hebrew slaves were freed. The story continues, as we know, but this part feels significant to current times.

I observe surface similarities and deeper meaning. On the surface, we have been sheltered in our homes (mostly) for our protection from a virus (plague). On a deeper level, we all might be freer and better humans once this has passed. The world itself just might be better, healed in certain ways. This virus has forced most of us to deeply reflect and take stock of our lives, and the world. Perhaps we have all been “slaves” (symbolically speaking) in a sense. Many of us moving through our lives almost on autopilot, wrapped up in stuff that we’re finding doesn’t really matter as much as we’d thought. Just as the freed Hebrew slaves went on a journey of discovery and growth following their release from captivity, maybe this has been the start of such a journey for all of us. A journey of self discovery, of simplifying our lives and connecting with what truly matters. A journey of finding new ways of doing things and discovering deeper gratitude and faith.

Each year when we celebrate Passover, we reflect on all that God did for us. We consider our blessings and also the afflictions our ancestors left behind. We remember that the journey from captivity was long and wrought with mistakes and setbacks, because like us our ancestors were human. This week when we celebrate Passover, that reflection will take on more personal meaning than ever before. The road ahead will probably include twists and setbacks, because we are human. But hopefully we will embrace it and continue forward because we are also determined and we carry a spark of the Divine within us.


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