Keeping the memory alive

“Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 16:1-3 ESV).

“What makes this night different from all other nights?” With this question, asked by a child, the modern Jewish observance of Passover begins. During the evening the events of the Exodus are related to all who are present and there is a feast containing many rituals that are based on what happened when God “passed over” the Israelites when they were freed from slavery in Egypt. Continue reading “Keeping the memory alive”

The need to remember

“And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, ‘Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.’ So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did” (Numbers 9:1-5 ESV).

God did not want the Israelites to forget what had happened to free them from Egyptian slavery. He gave them an anniversary to observe each year called “Passover.” This was to remind them that God had “passed over” their houses and that they had been freed from slavery that night. Continue reading “The need to remember”

A new year

Happy New Year!

Today is New Year’s Day. After the celebrations of ‘Hogmanay’ yesterday evening (Scottish for ‘New Year’s Eve’), when friends and family get together, ending with the bells at midnight (although in reality these days it is usually fireworks), with parties continuing long into the night. Some “first footing” still occurs (to be the first foot in a house after midnight) but Scots will continue to greet people with “Happy New Year!” and a hug throughout this coming week. Continue reading “A new year”

Remembering Death in Life

With the death of Michael Jackson, the media buzzes with details of his popular career and his bizarre life: star of the family group, the Jackson Five, the changes in his music, his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, his financial woes, his three children, all of whom bear both his names, his cosmetic surgeries, the charges of child molestation. Death calls us to remember a life, no matter how wonderful or sordid. Continue reading Remembering Death in Life