In the Present Tense

April 4, 2010

21st Century Seder

Filed under: Uncategorized — edoutlook @ 4:59 pm

I will return to the question of “young fundamentalists” soon, but  I simply must share what happened yesterday.

Several years ago, I presumed to modify the traditional Jewish Seder, or Passover service.  Some of the traditional Jewish parts seemed remote, at best, to modern Christian experience. At the same time, much of it speaks to us beautifully.

I had lost the files for a while, and in fact it took me most of last week to restore the text. Yesterday we celebrated this modified Seder. We invited a number of people, and in the end had more visitors attend this service than our usual congregational attendance, including  a dozen or so children.

We combine communion with the Seder, and serve a full meal–yes, including lamb. Our presentation was far from perfect. We discovered many ways we can improve it. Yet there were many, many wonderful things that happened at this service.

One that stands out for me involves footwashing. I am amazed how important this seemingly archaic practice proves itself again and again. We practice open communion– you hear those words every time. What it usually means is that we allow anyone off the street, baptized or not, to participate– but we forbid our own young children from participating. At HomePage ( we allow children to participate. So this mother, who had brought several sons, washed their feet, and they hers. She told me “This was the most meaningful communion I’ve ever participated in.”

One of our central purposes at HomePage is “Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

It is a wonderful event when we see our purpose realized. Yesterday was such a day.

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