This year, five grown children sat around our table, along with an observant fourteen-year-old and a curious four-year-old.
I labored over the table with the desire to present something beautiful and meaningful for my family.
Adorning the table was silver, fine china, crystal goblets, folded linen napkins, and freshly-polished, silver-and-crystal candlesticks.
Flowers announced the arrival of Spring, while also symbolizing the celebration of Jesus' fulfillment of scripture. My colorful floral arrangement held roses, lilies and other varieties. As I started to arrange the flowers, I remembered that Christ has been described as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
My husband lead in the reading of the Haggadah. I welcomed the evening with the blessing, while lighting the candles... so much to be taken in, so much to be absorbed. Would my children understand the significance of all the meanings hidden in our Passover meal?
Our glasses were filled four times throughout the night. The Seder plate was set before us as we participated in the understanding of the shank bone of the Lamb, the matzah, the bitter herbs, the haroset and karpas.
The Afikoman("that which comes after") was hidden in the house while the four-year-old covered his eyes. He later ventured out between the services to find the hidden Afikoman, a symbol of Jesus' being hidden in the tomb for three days and three nights.
Such rich meaning in all that was done...the holes in the matzah symbolizing how Jesus was pierced for our transgressions... the brown lines, his stripes and bruising ...and unleavened bread, because He knew no sin. That alone says it all.
The dinner served was prepared by different female hands. Our time together was precious and, as always, short. The hope and desire of my heart was that each of them heard what the Lord wanted to speak to them.
We reclined against pillows that were made years before at another shared Seder with precious friends. A reminder of God's people no longer being in slavery.
Thursday, we will continue our banner on our road to Calvary, the Cross and the Resurrection. Each day we will continue our readings on the meaning of a Risen Lord.
For now, I put the dishes back in place, set the table for Sunday and reflect on the evening spent trying to pass down to my children truths that are so important in my heart. I also realize that only God blesses our obedience with heart changes... our efforts are but filthy rags. My prayer today is that my obedience will produce a closer walk with the Lord for each of us that reclined at the Passover table.
May you enjoy this season with your family and all the richness it brings.