by: Greg Schaffer
Remembering Passover & Easter Breakfast
When I was a kid, my Mom really wanted us to understand some of the symbolism in the Bible and Passover is the perfect opportunity to lead into Easter. Most believers choosing to celebrate Passover hold a Seder. We had “Journeys”. I’d never attended a Seder until last year, and only as I am writing this, do I realize that other people have probably never done a “Journey.” Talking with my mother, this wasn’t something she’d heard of, it just struck her as a meaningful way to bring God’s word to life for us. Passover this year begins tonight, April 8th, and ends eight days later, the evening of April 16th, so this is something you can do any day during that period.
In preparation, we always made shortbread cookies, so they were unleavened (Ex 12:8), then cut them out in the shape of a lamb.(Ex 12:3,5-8) Note: we have a cookie cutter, but if you don't have that, you can either get very creative to come up with lamb shapes or just make plain cookies and serve them as unleavened bread. Then we'd dress up in sandals and robes (Ex 12:11) if we had them, a blanket cape if we didn't, and a whole bunch of costume jewelry (Exodus 12:35-6) - yes, even the boys. In our hands? Walking sticks (Exodus 12:11) and stuffed animals to represent livestock. (Exodus 12:38) Katie had a lamb, I had a cow and we all shared.
To begin we'd go stand at the door of our house, dip branches (no, we didn’t have hyssop, but willow and evergreen branches work just fine- Ex 12:22) in a bucket of water (in substitute for the blood of the lamb), and sprinkle the door posts of our house. Our parents read the passages listed below from Exodus, and talked about what God commanded the Israelites to do as they left Egypt. Then we'd each eat our combined unleavened bread/Passover lamb (Exodus 12:8), and then we'd go on a journey (Ex 13:18), just around our yard, hay yard and field, and talk about God leading Israel on the way to the Promised Land.
3“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.
5‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
22“You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.
8‘They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
11‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the LORD’S Passover. 12‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD. 13‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
28Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
29Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. 30Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. 31Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the LORD, as you have said. 32“Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also.
35Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 36and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 38A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
13:18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.
My Mom especially emphasized the role of the lamb in all this, reminding us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb, and has shed his blood so that we are not destroyed. This comes up again on Easter morning, because my loving Mom often gets up early and makes us a lamb of cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The cinnamon rolls can be any type, but arrange most of the rolls in a large oval on the cookie sheet for baking, then make one into an oval for the face and use cut up parts for an ear, legs, and a tail, then add a raisin for the eye. Serving the lamb at breakfast was Mom’s chance to talk about the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. (And if the cinnamon rolls were a little overdone, time to crack jokes about burnt offerings.)
I have so many memories of shortbread lambs, windblown walks (this is the San Luis Valley), and rocks in my sandals. I’ve never forgotten what we talked about on those “journeys”. While you are home this year might be just the chance for you to make some memories of your own. Feel free to take some pictures and share them on Facebook!
Article written and pictures provided by Cindy Tucker