Why is this night different?
Last night, we celebrated Passover with Jews and Christians joining together for the ritual meal. The central question of Passover, always to be asked by a child, is, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" The question is to come because we eat and act differently on Passover night. For example on all other nights we may eat leavened and unleavened bread, but on this night unleavened bread. The answer is that on Passover we remember that the Children of Israel prepared in haste to leave Egypt and made only unleavened bread for their journey. This difference of the Exodus experience is what is to make Passover night different from other nights for in the Passover we make the journey of the Israelites our journey.
As this is true, then perhaps Passover night should not be so different from all other nights. Yes, we may eat different foods and do so in a different way (dipping vegetables twice intead of once and so on), but each day and each night we are to remember that the story of God's salvation of that band of slaves is not just their story, but our story too. We are to remember that if God had not set them free then we would still be slaves. In fact, we still are slaves to this world unless we let God set us free.
Tonight we will celebrate Maundy Thursday, an evening for remembering Jesus' celebrating the Passover with his disciples on the night before he died. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with an Agape Meal. This stems from early Christian tradition of gathering for a full meal, known as an Agape (or love) meal when gathering for worship. It will be a simple supper of soup and bread. You may bring bread, wine, olives or cheese to accompany the meal. Then at 7 p.m. we will celebrate communion with an opportunity for footwashing for those who wish to do so.