Why is this Year different from all other years?

Posted by Sherman Chau on

The answer to that is obvious. And if you’re familiar with the Seder supper, you may recognize the question. 

The Seder is a meal that commemorates the Passover and is celebrated in the middle of Holy Week. It centres around a key question: “Why is this Night different from all other nights?” 

It was this question in the context of this year that led me to think about the Seder as a devotion, which is actually what it’s supposed to be. It is literally “food for thought.” Here are three things we can learn from the Seder meal.

The elements of the Seder table are full of meaning. You can read about the ceremony and each element in detail here, but these are a few that stood out to me.

The bitter herbs (lettuce and parsley) and saltwater are reminders of the suffering and tears of the Hebrews under Pharaoh. For us, we can reflect on times of suffering and hardship in the past, and certainly the present. 

The lamb shank represents the sacrificial lamb, whose blood caused the angel of death to Passover their homes. For Christians, this bone represents Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God.

The egg has various meanings, but among them is the symbolism of new beginnings, new life and hope for the future. 

Next time you eat one of these foods, pause and think about its spiritual symbolism. (Here is a guide to the full meal.)

Keep old traditions, create new ones 
Traditions like Seder, Easter and Communion are powerful because people have kept them in good times and bad. Resiliency causes people to create new traditions during a crisis, like celebrating these online. 

Make new traditions this year and remember them even when this has passed. For our family, a new tradition is having dinner out every Wednesday night to make the long days of school and work from home go by a bit easier. 

God’s faithfulness throughout time
The Passover was a miraculous display of God’s salvation and love for His people as He delivered them out of Egypt. Centuries later, Christ the Messiah, sacrificed His own life to save us once and for all. 2 Corinthians 1:10

“He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.”

To end with a paraphrase from this Jewish tradition, “Next year, in global good health!”


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