Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Christian Seder--Tuesday of Holy Week

Seder is the traditional Passover Week Dinner celebrated by the Hebrews since the Exodus. It is the Hebrew Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God for deliverance and redemption.

Seder is also called the Passover Dinner, commemorating the protection of God as the Angel of Death passed over every family protected by the Blood of the Paschal Lamb.

Seder is Bible Study. It is in this family setting that Jewish children were first introduced to the Book of Exodus as the adults gained further insight. We refer to this kind of instruction as multimedia, as all five senses are involved to make this study an unforgettable event.

Seder is that famous Dinner called The Last Supper, hosted by Jesus for His disciples. It is probable, based on The Gospels, to assume that Jesus celebrated every Seder of His life in Jerusalem. Seder, as the setting for Jesus' Last Supper, was the event Jesus choose to announce The New Covenant. And it was at this Seder that Jesus asked all of us to do this in remembrance of Him. Many of us have done part of the Seder at our various Communion Services, but the entire ceremony will bring us a profound sense of meaning.

Seder is the Feast of Unleavened Bread mentioned twice in Luke's Acts of the Apostles (12:3 and 20:6). The days of Unleavened Bread were mentioned in connection with Peter in Jerusalem and Paul in Greece, and both citations are followed by great miracles. I think that it is safe to say that both Peter and Paul celebrated Seder and encouraged others, both Jews and Gentiles, to do this also.

Seder was the basis of the early Church's Lord's Day worship service. It was referred to as the Agape Feast and Eucharist. Agape is the Greek word for Christian Love, that Love we have for one another. Eucharist is a transliteration of the Greek word which means to give thanks to God, implying that Thanksgiving is an obligation for the works of God. Our early Church experienced miracles and miraculous movements of the Holy Spirit. Our Christian ancestors were united in One Love, One Christ, and One Mind as they grew from obscurity to a Worldwide Church. Church history records that The Agape Feast and The Eucharist were separated after 300 AD. After this was done, there were many attempts to outlaw The Agape Feast altogether. Five Church Councils between AD 320 and AD 816 that addressed this issue were never completely successful in eliminating the Agape. It continues to this day in the Greek Church as well as in some Protestant denominations.

The Seder dinner is as Christian as it is Jewish. It is the focal point where we bring together our common heritage. We, as Christians, are heirs of Abraham through Faith and children of God through Christ.

Seder is Christian and we can be confident that it will be a worthwhile experience because Jesus told us to do it. It is through understanding and partaking in the Seder that we will understand, more completely, that the early Church members were willing to die for their Faith and went on to conquer the world. You may order either A Guide to a Christian Seder or the order of service which is called A Christian Haggadah from this Web Site.

These are the basic elements for the leader: 1) a leader's copy of the Seder Haggadah; 2) a special linen napkin with a pocket to hold the afikomen; 3) a linen bag with three compartments for the matzot, here placed on a special silver matzah plate; 4) a cup of drinking water; 5) a bowl of water for the ceremonial hand washing; 6) a bowl of salt water; 7) a napkin or towel; 8) carafe of wine or grape juice; 9) the Seder plate; 10) a bowl of charoset; 11) four glasses, one for each of the cups (a single glass can be used); here Elijah's cup is slightly larger; 12) two candlesticks with white candles; 13) a bowl of grated horseradish; 14) a table with a place setting for Elijah (optional).

3 comments:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Thank you for this wonderful post and lesson on seder!

Home Theater said...

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Gail said...

Sorry I have not been around for awhile, my neighbor's husband passed away and I have been very busy with that. I found this post on the seder very interesting and I was also enlightened by reading your previous post. I found it very interesting. BE BLESSED :-)

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