In case that's a bit obscure, let me repeat the greeting using some Yiddish: May you have a kosher un freilachen pesach. There are of course two Hebrew words even in the Yiddish but the middle bit is plain German: und froelichen in High German. People sometimes grumble at me when I say that Yiddish is a German dialect with a few Hebrew words thrown in but you have just seen an example of that. Anyway, I am wishing my Jewish readers "a happy and kosher passover"
Curiously, Passover and Easter coincide closely this year. Passover is this Thursay and Good Friday is this Friday. The dating of Easter is loosely based on the Jewish custom but the two days can still fall quite a way apart.
It always amazes me what a hash Christians make of Christ's commandment: "This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22: 19). They just don't do it. Easter is supposed to be the Christian remembrance of the Last Supper but no Christian service is anything like a Passover Seder. And, even more strangely, instead of the taking of the bread and the wine being an annual event, some Christians do it daily! Even Presbyterians do it once a quarter. And most services are in the morning instead of in the evening!
If there really are any Christians around who try to remain faithful to the Bible, they should be arranging with a local Jewish community to attend a seder this Thusday. I am not the one commanding it. Christ commanded it!
I have not this year made any arrangements to attend a seder myself but I may drop in to the Good Friday service at my old church if I wake up early enough. But I only go to church for sentimental reasons these days. I don't believe in any of it any more. And Good Friday is normally the one day of the year when I do like to renew my connections with the great Protestant traditions and thinking that remade our world. Getting out of bed in time for a 9am service is a bit of a challenge, though. That's normally when I wake up! Retirement has its advantages.
My Annual Visit to a Mainline Protestant Church
The following is from someone else who rarely goes to a mainstream church -- for reasons quite different from mine. I share his heartache, however. It is painful to have empty twaddle preached from the pulpits of a once great faith. The "ministers" concerned defile the religion they purport to represent. Fortunately, in my old church the old faith is still preached. I am as comfortable with that as I am uncomfortable with the theological prostitutes who have taken over many modern churches
I made my annual visit to a Sunday morning service in a "mainline Protestant church" a couple weeks ago. It is an eerie experience. Heart-wrenchingly eerie.
A magnificent building.
A magnificent choir singing, "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of he world, have mercy on us" (in Latin).
A closing hymn, "Lord, I want to be a Christian."
Three women pastors on the platform and two men.
Pews filled with well-to-do looking folks.
The reason I say it was eerie is that much of this religious language means something totally different in their minds from what I mean by it. There is a keeping of the language and a demythologizing of the original meaning.
On one of our earlier visits No. l recalls the pastor saying that when he was a child he used to read stories like the one about Jesus walking on the water as if they were literally true.
What made my visit heart-wrenching was that the children's choir sang these words-trust me, I am copying them from the bulletin-"Birds and trees, people and plants, dolphin and whale all lives are equal. . . . Sister Rain, Brother Stone bring us back to our true home."
So when I stand at my study window that looks out over the downtown cityscape of Minneapolis, I pray: "O God, have mercy on us. Send a shocking revival to the churches-and a great awakening to this city. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen."
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here