Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins tonight at sundown. I have been reflecting of late on two ideas that are consistent with this time of year.
The first is the universal appeal of the Passover themes of oppression, deliverance, freedom, and a great Deliverer. In researching Haggadot a couple years ago I ran into all types of Passover Seder guides. There was even a liberal, feminist Haggadah! On first thought it seemed very incongruous. Upon reflection I can see how the themes of Passover resonate with them.
This is one of the intents of the Passover season; God said we are to consider ourselves to have been led forth from Egypt in every generation, and say to our children, “When God led me out of slavery in Egypt.”
The second thing is the reality that God wove a rhythm, a cosmic cycle, into the fabric of the universe, and our lives are intended to be in harmony with that rhythm.
Genesis 1:14 says,
“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,”
I think it is significant to note that God created light in Genesis 1;3, so the purpose of the sun and the moon, was not primarily to give light, but to be the markers of the signs, seasons, days and years. Now it gets really interesting when one notes that the Hebrew word here translated as “seasons” is moedim. That word may sound familiar, and it ought to. Moed (singular of moedim) is a word that means “appointed time”, and is what God uses to describe His feasts.
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts (moedim) of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts (moedim ). Leviticus 23:2
Fascinating, eh? So God created the sun and the moon to, among other things, mark the times of His festivals. Passover being one of the 3 most significant of these 7 appointed times.
By the way, a recent translation called the Holman Christian Standard Bible got this verse right; it says,
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.” Genesis 1:14 (HCSB)
In his book Making Room For Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships Randy Frazee comments:
While we may and can use a day planner to aid us in managing life, what we first need in advanced and more educated cultures is something more basic. Most people today have a daily and weekly pattern that is unblanaced and not sustainable over the long haul. I’ve suggested in previous chapters that if we continue to live this way, it will kill us. Not only are we not satisfying the connection requirement God created in us, but I’d also be so bold to suggest that the way we plan our lives is the first obstacle to meeting this requirement.
I’d like to recommend to you an ancient concept that may be new to you. I’m calling it “the Hebrew Day Planner.” This concept is rooted in the creation theology of Genesis 1 and 2. It goes back once again to our design as humans by our Creator–his specs on how we should function. In these two chapters we are given the basic architecture for living a connected life. The Hebrew people were totally tuned in to these principles. It was the first story to be shared with their children around the fire at night.
The basic premise of the Hebrew Day Planner is that we were designed by God on the sixth day of creation to function in harmony and rhythm with what he created on the first five days….
(from pgs 60-61, published by Zondervan, copyright 2003 by Randy Frazee)
I think Randy has tuned into a truth that God meant for all of us to grasp. So, as Paul said,
“Let us therefore celebrate the festival” 1 Corinthians 5:8