Last night was our fourth annual Seder dinner. For some reason, I could not get my head together and ended up running throughout the day to not one, not two, not three, but four grocery stores for all of the stuff I kept forgetting.
In addition to all the stuff for dinner, I suddenly realized at 4:30 in the afternoon that I'd forgotten to buy parsley, bitter herbs, and any of the stuff to make charoset (also indicating that it was 4:30 in the afternoon and I hadn't even made the charoset).
I was busier earlier in the day, making the dessert because I decided to do Catherine Newman's Toffee Buttercrunch Matzoh, which we actually make at Christmas using club crackers, but wow. A new excuse to eat it in the springtime as well. As Catherine says, "it really doesn't matter if you're Jewish or not, because it will be the most addictively delicious thing you have every had a hand in making; honestly, it could be one of the ten plagues, it's so dastardly. It's crunchy and buttery, golden-tasting and just a tiny bit salty, chocolaty and something like the best Heath Bar you ever tasted--if a Heath Bar suddenly showed up at your seder, with matzoh in its heart."
Darren saw me pouring the melted toffee over the matzoh and said, "Isn't that kind of sacrilegious?"
So in between all the cooking and the running, I was busy thinking my Maundy Thursday and Good Friday thoughts. I always think about my favorite story where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. I like to do this thing that Jill Briscoe calls, "peeking around the verse." The Bible doesn't really say anything about what happened right after they unbound Lazarus (can you just imagine him, walking out of the grave all bound up?), but I like to picture the scene of his sisters, excitedly pulling off the graveclothes, as they danced around him in excitement, their cries of joy echoing off those rocky tombs. That must have been the greatest party ever that night at their house.
In the midst of thinking that and figuring out what little prize to give the girls for when they found the afikomen while wandering up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart, I heard someone say, "Alice" and it was my friend Katie, who is also my parents' pastor's wife. Since we were both sans kids, we got to leisurely push our carts up and down the aisles. She told me how, last Sunday, after the children's choir sang for Palm Sunday, she organized them all to go over and sing to my mom.
Here they are, in my parents' backyard:
Is that not the sweetest thing ever? She is a great pastor's wife, which by the way, I think pastors' wives are unsung heroes anyway. I would show you a picture of my mom, enjoying the singing, but she's in her pajamas and robe and she would kill me if I posted that on the Internet.
After all my grocery trips, I finally pulled the Seder dinner together. This is one of my favorite nights of the year.
All who are hungry come and eat. All who are needy come and celebrate Passover with us. Now we celebrate it here. Next year, may we celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. Now we are slaves. next year, may we be truly free...
We celebrate what God has done in our history, and what He has done for us, but at the same time we still await a new future. As Jesus left, He promised He would come again and restore all things.
Recently, my friend Danny told me he was planning a trip to the Holy Land. He told me about the Wailing Wall where people from all over the world come to weep and pray. You can write out a prayer and put it in one of the cracks in the wall. He asked if there was any prayer I wanted him to write out for me. I told him the only thing I wanted was him to simply write out the final words of the Seder, "Next year, in the new Jerusalem."
Tonight we'll be going to church in remembrance of Good Friday. Sunday we'll be going to the greatest party of the year in celebration of Easter. And I know that a day is coming, because of Him, that the graveclothes will come off, and we will dance on resurrected feet while our shouts of joy will echo off the stars.