This Christian Seder Guide is designed to walk you through the whole process of preparing for, hosting and leading a Christian Seder. Feel free to download it to use or just to read. I hope you find it encouraging.
Passover is the oldest Jewish religious festival, commemorating God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, described in Exodus 12. The Passover Seder is a ceremonial meal designed to guide people through a communal meditation on God’s work of redemption for His people.
Many Christians have adapted this tradition into an insightful meditation on the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus at the Last Supper. Unable to find a Christian Seder guide that fit our church’s needs, I cobbled one together myself last year using several sources. Our community group used it and it was a really cool way to enter into the drama of Passion Week in preparation for Easter. So it’s back this year, with a few edits and the addition of discussion questions at the end. I’m looking forward to the experience again this Thursday!
The thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma. You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions. Which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity. I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness—and there’s mortality as part of your very sinful nature. And, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, so that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humble. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.