A Passover Peacemeal

Thanks to Clare Ransom for this story.

Some years ago, we invited Noel Moules to join us and some of our friends to spend a day in our home, sharing with us his understanding of the Jewish Passover meal and his idea of Peacemeal.

We had morning and afternoon teaching and discussion sessions with a Peacemeal lunch, led by Noel, in between. This was a simple sharing meal of soup and bread, and we paused to break the bread and reflect and to share the wine and pray.dv1395027

In the evening, we shared a full Passover-inspired meal to which we also invited some neighbours. We had all the special foods including the lamb, the matzoh crackers and the bitter herbs. Again, Noel led us and we joined in the recitations, the lighting of candles and drinking of the four cups of wine.

As we shared in the ritual of the Passover meal, we learned about the depth of history and symbolism that would have been familiar to early Jesus-followers of Jewish heritage: of how the actions and the storytelling included all ages around the table; of the spare seat kept ready, and of the celebratory atmosphere that mingled with poignant memories of the past.

This experience started us and our friends on a journey of exploring breaking bread as hospitality, the welcoming of strangers and of enjoying spirituality around our table.

For me, Noel’s description of eastern ‘caravanserai’ also struck a particular chord. These were stopping places on an eastern traveller’s route, inns along the way; where travellers found welcome, safety, rest, refreshment and companionship.

passover-02In a spiritual sense, this is what the Peacemeal can be: a safe haven to be in the presence of Jesus and to share with others; to listen and be heard. To be nourished with the bread and the wine and to leave sustained for our lives in the world.

 

Images used with permission from the Huffington Post.

If you would like to see the ‘Jesus Haggadah’ Passover liturgy used during the meal in this story, visit the Liturgies page.

 

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