This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread. Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. And when your children ask you, “What do you mean by this observance?” you shall say, “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.” ’ And the people bowed down and worshipped.
The Israelites went and did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. Reflection by Janet Derby We have begun story summer at Pilgrimage. We tell stories all the time – of our world, of history, of our faith, of our families. They are a vital way of uniting us to each other. One of the ways we retell the important narratives of our past is through rituals and traditions. God understood that it would be crucial for the Hebrews to remember the Passover story and so commanded them to keep an observance of it.
In our family, each Christmas morning, everyone gathers on the stairs for a family picture before we gather around the tree to open gifts. This tradition has been passed from my parents and has allowed my children to know a little about grandparents they never got to meet. It also reinforces values of memories and connectedness. Our faith rituals accomplish the same purpose. Bringing in and taking out the light, sharing bread and juice, and singing Let There be Peace on Earth highlight what is important to our church community. Prayer
God of Our Ancestors,
Thank you for the tales of our faith and those who continue to tell them, Help us to keep and pass on those traditions. Amen.