Good morning, Five Minute Families! How wonderful it is to be with you this morning. Clear View Retreat is fully opened for the 2021 season, and we are excited for this upcoming year. If you have interest in attending a Family Camp or Marriage Retreat, or any of the other ministry events we host, please check out our website at clearviewretreat.org.
Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without a picture for reference? It is tough. Most of us will give up. Sometimes, the Bible can seem like a puzzle with no picture reference, especially for kiddos. A collection of cool stories, yes. A truth to bring comfort and purpose, yes. But, a complete picture, um, sometimes, not so much.
This week in children’s church we discussed the Passover. What is so fascinating about learning about the Passover celebration meal (which is called a Seder by the way) is that the Old Testament Passover and the New Testament Communion are the combining remembrance ceremonies of the Bible. Jesus’s final Passover meal and the resulting communion ceremony help to give us that big picture reference that sometimes seems lost.
For a quick history, in Exodus, God used Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, so God’s people celebrate Passover every year to remember God’s hand of protection. Remembering where we come from is important. God specifically commanded the Israelites in Numbers, Leviticus, and more to celebrate Passover beginning on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (usually our March or April) in specific ways, which included certain foods, unleavened bread, four cups of wine, and other details.
When Jesus gathered with his disciples for the Last Supper, they were celebrating Passover just as God has commanded. During His last earthly Passover meal, Jesus instructed His followers to share the wine and unleavened bread to remember him. Luke 22:19 starts it this way, “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’” Communion gives Christ-followers a way to gather together and remember Jesus’s saving power as well as the rich history of all that God has done throughout history.
So, as a five-minute family wanting to apply God’s word, Passover offers many teaching opportunities to build biblical knowledge, engage in family discipleship, and have some great educational fun. Our top five suggestions for applying this biblical truth in your home are:
- Instead of simply reading long scripture passages, keep the verse selection short and simple. Maybe focus on acting out one or two parts within the big picture. There are great online scripts for a quick, entertaining living room play. Wear bathrobes, shawls, and sandals to pretend to be the Israelites.
- Prepare the Seder meal foods together. Use the preparation time to discuss the importance of the different elements. This will help keep the actual dinner a little shorter for younger children. Something to note: Lamb meat with bone in is expensive, so see about substitutes. If funds are especially tight, you could find a coloring sheet of a Seder plate to print out and discuss as you color together.
- Eat the Seder meal together. For families with younger kids, you might opt to keep everything short and do a quick sampling, but if your family is able, you can make a full dinner out of it. Again, you can keep this meal as simple as you would like. The key elements are pita bread or matzah, hard-boiled egg, charoset, a piece of parsley, lamb or chicken for the meat, and grape juice.
- Depending on the ages of children, choose only one item to discuss in depth and let the other parts simply be there. Yes, that could become a multi-year commitment, but those hooks and the depth of conversation that can grow from that are innumerable.
- Get multi-sensory, too. Grab a stuffed lamb for the center piece. Do crafts with cotton balls on construction paper or even sandpaper for the bricks of the pyramids. You can watch a movie together that focuses on the exodus. Or, even, pull out a red sash and place it over your home’s doorframe.
The goal in anything you do to teach your loved ones about the Passover should be to point back to the big picture which is the thread of Jesus Christ throughout the Bible. Remembering helps us not only make better decisions for the future but also to be thankful for all the Lord has done to better our lives and our eternity.
If you have attended a Seder dinner in the past or have ideas on how to make a memorable Seder experience, we would love to hear about them. You can comment on our facebook page or on our blog/podcast page. May God bless your upcoming week!