Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When Princesses Come to Passover

I'm not sure what Jesus would think if He looked across the Passover table at my four-year-old daughter, dressed elegantly in pink linen with embroidered roses.  Amidst the unleavened bread and the wine, the Haggadah of prayers and songs written in both Hebrew and English, and the tiny silver menorah filled with cornflower blue birthday candles sit six plastic princesses whom Amelia has brought to the feast, all dressed appropriately in their most sparkly finery, all wearing crowns.

Her twin brother, Emerson, has long ago put the Scooby Doo coloring book and twistable crayons beneath his seat, but she has no intentions of allowing her girls to miss out on the meal to come.  They line up, form a circle, then move into a line again before facing each other close as Amelia animates them in conversation.
The group lifts their glasses in unison to partake of the first Cup of Sanctification.  "Blessed are Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth fruit from the vine."

I add a silent prayer that my own clumsy prince and princess don't spill the Solo cup of purple grape juice.

Little chubby fingers next take a sprig of parsley, dip it in salt water.  To my surprise, they eat it, undeterred by the taste and texture.  This meal is special, and they know it.  I explain simply how this is what tears would taste like and how this reminds us of the Israelites' tears when Pharaoh kept them as slaves.  The twins know this story well.  Even later this night, they will explain this part of the feast to their daddy.

My mother leans close to Emerson, dressed in his favorite orange Hawaiian shirt.  As the youngest at the table, it is his role to ask the questions.  Grand-mama reads from the Haggadah, and he repeats, suddenly shy at this attention.

"Why is this night different from all other nights?"  I think of the apostle John leaning on Jesus' breast, asking this same question.

Minutes later, we all lift voices to sing the Hebrew chorus of a new song, "Day-enu."  The words mean "It would have been enough," and although this meaning is significant only to me, the twins clap, smile, and sing praises to the Lord anyway.  A few plastic princesses even dance along.

Together, we continue around the Seder plate, partaking next of the bitter herbs, although in South Louisiana where Tabasco and hot peppers are the rule, they don't make us cry.  In fact, Amelia and Emerson both take their matzah bread back for a second dip in the bitter horseradish before pulling out their spoons to dig deep into the haroseth, a sweet apple paste resembling "mortar" the Israelite slaves would have used between bricks.

As any good hostess would do, Amelia picks up Snow White and Cinderella, offers them a bite of her favorite dish on the plate.

Two hours later, there is miraculously no grape juice on the floor or anybody's clothes.  Everyone has fellowshiped and eaten well a meal of roasted potatoes, lamb, turkey, green beans, and strawberries on angel food cake.

We read from the Psalms of Ascents, sing another song in Hebrew,pack up the princesses, and head for home.

Later, the twins will joyfully share with their older brother about this Passover meal, so much so that Wyatt's face will sour as he fusses at not being pulled out of school so he could attend, too.   

No, I'm not sure what Jesus would think if He saw my two youngest children enjoying their first Passover meal, but I think He would smile in approval, a smile that would reach His eyes and warm those around Him.  I think He would enjoy these children just being children as they learn of His faithfulness in generations past.

Princesses, crayons, and all--somehow, I think a scene such as this is exactly what God would have had in mind when He penned those words explaining how the Biblically-ordained feasts of Leviticus 23 were for the "generations to come."

This is for that next generation--so that they, too, will know He is Lord.

No comments:

Post a Comment