This morning’s Gospel was the reading of the Last Supper. Tonight I gathered with friends who always host a magnificent Passover meal with a dining room full of friends. I love to hear the story from the Jewish tradition as well as how we know it through Christian eyes. It is a glorious story, complete with the parting of the Red Sea and other related Scriptures, songs, prayers, wine-drinking, symbols, and other rich moments reminding us of the faith.
I especially love the Dayenu song–it would have been enough. If God had only done this much, then it would have been enough. Yet God does so much more than we can ask or imagine. In fact, God gives completely, in wildly unimaginable ways, and wholeheartedly. God is the Great Giver. We are blessed recipients who do not always remember to mumble a grateful thanks. Every Passover I remember that God has already given me more than enough. I am always humbled by this thought.
At the end of the meal, several of us started discussing Manitoba Hutterites. A former Hutterite gave us a fascinating mini-lesson on how they came to Manitoba and it was as if the Exodus was being retold centuries later. How the neighbours to the south of us in the Dakotas tried to escape to Canada when the war broke out, how those who remained were detained and tortured, and how the army and government tried to break these people of faith. As I listened, I could not help but see the parallel of this story with its Manitoba connection. She told one heartbreaking story of how the army returned some of the deceased to the colony and stayed as a watchful presence during the funeral. Later it was discovered that they had prepared these pacifists in army uniforms for their burials. They had not allowed the coffins to be opened in their presence so their evil deed was not immediately uncovered.
This Holy Week is a hard journey sometimes. The events in our world make us wonder how far we have really come. All I can say is that Easter is coming and that is where I will keep my focus. May these final days of the journey to Jerusalem bring you hope.