One of the great themes of God’s relationship with his people throughout history, is helping them move from slavery into freedom. As we approach Easter we see this powerful picture of hope displayed in a number of ways. At Passover the Jewish people remember how God set his people free from slavery in Egypt, using symbols to remember both the pain and suffering as well as the joy.
This year we are planning some thing special for Maundy Thursday—the night we remember Jesus at the last supper with his friends. It was the time of the Jewish Passover and Jesus took the traditional symbols that had been used for hundreds of years and developed them in a way that is relevant for us today. We will be celebrating a version of the Passover meal.
This has been the foundation for the communion service that we use today. Taking part in the Passover meal really adds to our understanding of the history of our faith, and the powerful symbols of bread and wine help us to identify with the first disciples.
When Jesus took these symbols and applied them to himself, he was pointing to a profound new way that God was setting people free. Free from a deeper and more insidious slavery, a slavery to selfishness that leads to self destruction. This is not just a message for 2000 years ago, but a message for today. A message not just for certain communities, but for everyone. As we become more self aware we realise the different ways that we are still slaves: slaves to other peoples’ opinion; slaves to the desire for more money or excitement; slaves to fashion and consumerism. Each of us can move and grow into new freedom. Jesus said, “ I have come that you may have LIFE, and life in abundance”. He delivered this promise, supremely by releasing us from the fear of death by his glorious resurrection.
This is a time when we seek to receive this promise afresh. Do please make a point of coming to join in our celebrations that evening, Thursday 2nd April at 7.30pm in the Church Centre, or some of our other Easter celebrations, details of which you can find here.
Rev Bill Henderson