Field Personnel / Field Personnel Columns / General CBF

Next Year in Jerusalem!

By Field Personnel in Southeast Asia

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

We heard this four times throughout our dinner on Thursday evening, on one of our favorite nights of the year. Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. 

Each year, on the Thursday before Easter, we gather together with those in our ministry for a Seder dinner.  We usually sit on the floor, banana leaves spread before us, candles lighting the room, a vast spread of traditional and local foods.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

We have in our midst men and women, children and adults, Christian and those of other faiths.  We hide the Afikomen, we ask the Four Questions, we retell the Passover story, we recount the 10 plagues.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

But, as Christians, we remember most the Lamb who was slain for us. Our Seder dinners have become a longed-for tradition where we connect our Old Testament history to our New Testament faith.

As like many things in the past year, our Seder dinner looked a little bit different this year and last.  We no longer gather together in person; we can’t sit together and talk as we watch the candles flicker.  So, it’s different, but it’s still good.  We see each other in little boxes on the computer screen.  We read our parts from a Google slides presentation.  We eat Cheez-its instead of unleavened bread.  We use what we can find in the house as bitter herbs and Charoset.  We watch a Jewish lady on YouTube, with all kinds of enthusiasm, recite prayers and blessings in Hebrew.  It’s not traditional, but it works.  We remember our past and celebrate our future.  

The Passover Seder ends with the phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem!”  It’s a hope for the future expressed by Jews throughout history.  Although we, as Christians, say it as we await the coming of a new Jerusalem, we also said it this year as a prayer of hope to all be together again next year.

Next year in Jerusalem!

The CBF Offering for Global Missions makes possible the long-term presence of CBF field personnel like the author serving in Southeast Asia. Support for the Offering extends lasting hope and loving hospitality to people living in poverty around the world. Give online today at http://www.cbf.net/OGM.

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