Last Tuesday was the second day of Passover, and Hope invited me to join in a celebration being held in Taipei. Since I've never experienced anything like it before, I thought it would be fun and interesting! I learned a lot. It has also really enriched my reflections during Passion week, especially reading about the Last Supper, where Jesus and his followers were actually eating a passover meal.
It was not a messianic service, but Hope did explain some of the symbols and how they relate. It started with a prayer meeting in a different room, and the rabbi sharing story after story. Then we proceeded down to the banquet room where each table was outfitted with the necessary things, including wine, matzah (unleavened biscuits), bitter herbs, and little books containing the liturgy and readings. The books were 126 pages long in Hebrew and English, and it seemed like we read every single page. Most of it was the rabbi reading at a rapid pace in Hebrew with us following along in English (in my case). Sometimes other people would read, or those that knew the songs would sing them. There were also times where we had to stop and all raise our wine glasses and drink.The story of the Exodus was retold along with some other traditional stories, and readings from Psalms and other places. A lot of the food and symbolic actions are to remember the night of the passover, the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, and the way God freed them. For example, the bitter herbs represent the bitterness of 400 years of slavery.
I think it is interesting that the Passover is so much about remembrance, and remembering what God has done, since Jesus also instructed his followers to do this "in remembrance of me". Freeing us from sin and death is an even greater miracle than when God freed the Israelites from Egypt.