Last night at church we had the Passover Seder meal in my class. I was both nervous and excited. I couldn't wait to have this experience, but would my class appreciate it or be bored out of their minds. It's hard to tell what 3rd graders will be thinking.
I have experienced some form of the last supper and/or foot washing many times in my life. I've even been part of a reenactment of the "last supper" when actors representing Jesus and his disciples were eating their "last supper" at the front of the room. I have never before been part of a passover Seder that integrates the traditional Jewish Seder elements with a discussion of how they relate to Christians. How Christ is the sacrificial lamb. Thank you Focus on the Family and Thriving Family magazine for sharing the details of how to create this meaningful celebration.
We did not have foot washing, but washed hands in a basin and discussed foot washing. We read the story of the "last supper" and discussed the meaning behind the washing of the disciples feet and how we can apply that in our lives today. We discussed how Jesus knew Judas would soon betray Him and washed his feet anyway. What does that tell us about how we treat those who are mean or unkind to us?
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and it's unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone give you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-given selves. This is what God does. He gives His best--the sun to warmth and the rain to nourish--to everyone, regardless: the good, the bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." Matthew 5:43-48 (Message)
It was amazing to me to marry the concepts of the Passover and what Christ has done for us. It was meaningful to leave the plate for Elijah and then talk about how we know the Messiah has come.
What did 3rd graders think of this? The first thing they mentioned was that they had tried horseradish and it was sour. :) They did tell me they enjoyed the evening, because it was fun and different. Did they learn anything? We'll see. But, at least the seed has been planted.
As we said at the fourth and final cup of the evening, "Come, Lord Jesus."