Yesterday was Good Friday, and I went to an Easter seder last night. This one was written by Messianic Jews, but I'd never been to any kind of seder before and didn't know what to expect. The gathering was very intimate - just Katie and me, her roommate Kelly, the Normans, and later John and Jake. We took turns reading from the haggadah, words about the symbolism of unleavened bread as we broke it and passed it around the table, unleavened because the Israelites didn't have time to let the yeast rise in their flee from Egypt, reminding us of the way God has always delivered his people throughout history, and reminding us too, in the way the bread was broken, of our Messiah's own body, broken for us, our passover lamb who went to the cross to take upon himself the sins of the world.
We dipped celery in salty water and coughed and snorted our way through eating the horseradish, which went up all our noses and stung so badly it made our eyes cry. We laughed and tried to remain reverent, but even the silliness felt a little bit sacred. I couldn't help but look around at this group of dear friends, few in number, and all of us still unexperienced at life, but there we were trying to honor God as best we've been able to figure out thus far, gathered of our own accord on a friday night to dip celery twice into salt water, to share wine and leave the front door open for Elijah and swallow stinging horseradish with a mix of tears and laughter. This, I think, is symbolic of our friendships themselves - a mix of salty and sweet, a sharing of both tears and laughter, as well as a little bit of going through the motions because even though we don't always feel it, we have faith that these gatherings, these people, do matter. And so we keep showing up. And these encounters, little by little, keep opening us up, keep deepening the communion we feel, until eventually, by learning to love a few people well, our hearts are expanded for the whole world.
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