28 March 2010

Passover Thoughts

I am way to emotional to write this entry, but need to clear my mind. In the last couple years I was at home my Mom would hold a passover dinner before Easter. My memory holds that this event usually set a spiritual setting for Easter instead of the customary commercialism. Ever since Justin and I married 5 years ago I really wanted to hold a passover meal as a new family tradition. I decided last week that this year was the year. All week I planned, researched, and tried to better understand the meaning of the passover and how it could strengthen our family's testimony. As I sought to put my swarm of thoughts together the complete meaning seemed to avoid me.

After church I prepared a traditional Seder plate/meal. During the process of preparation the meaning of the Passover finally became clear. I wanted to hold this meal not because the Passover is a traditional Jewish feast, or a Christian holiday, but because as Latter-day Saints the Passover has very intimate roots. Once a year the Jews of the Old and New Testaments would commemorate the Passover. It was replaced by the Savior with the sacrament. That is very significant to me because like most gospel principles the principle replaced from the Mosaic law to the New Law were parallel. Only once a year were the ancient saints able to participate in the sacrament/passover. It was a strict and symbolic feast. How grateful I am that in these latter-days we can commemorate the passover every Sunday with the passing of the sacrament. The new bread has leaven which like yeast combined with flour and water can lift our hearts to a higher level. We have a rich heritage stretching back to the time of Adam. To join the leagues of our ancestors and spend a day to ponder the symbols and meaning of the Passover is a privilege not soon forgotten.  

I held the Passover feast in the form of a FHE with the Haley and Titus family. I admit the spirit fled me during the telling of the story. I tried to communicate my testimony as I explained the feast and some of the symbolism. The whole dinner seemed a failure to me. I did not even finish saying what I had to say because the ability to express my heart was lost in the translation. I cowered in the bathroom for a good couple minutes crying my eyes out. I felt a bit better but still had to express my testimony. Sorry to those who participated, it did not turn out like I planned.

I know that our Savior lives. This time of year is amazing as we can focus our hearts towards the sacrifice of our Savior with singularity. As the earth awakens after the winter we can shake the mist from our eyes and see what our Savior has done for us. I struggle to fathom the atonement. How can a perfect person experience so much pain, angst, heartache, and sin and not be weighed down? Instead the Savior can see us each individually, the billions of individuals, with an understanding so personal that He knows us. His atonement not only paid for our sins but our heartache and everything in between. He alone understands my personal battles with self-esteem, depression, fatigue, jealousy, pride, etc and etc. Wow! The Passover day should be a day to stop and reflect, this is where the journey to Gethsemane became imminent. I close my eyes and stop for a moment, the song "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" seems best to portray my testimony.

When I survey the wondrous cross 
on which the Prince of Glory died; 
my richest gain I count but loss, 
and pour contempt on all my pride. 
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, 
save in the death of Christ, my God; 
all the vain things that charm me most, 
I sacrifice them to his blood. 
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, 
sorrow and love flow mingled down. 
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, 
or thorns compose so rich a crown. 
Were the whole realm of nature mine, 
that were an offering far too small; 
love so amazing, so divine, 
demands my soul, my life, my all.
I feel better...my thoughts are more complete. Enjoy this Easter week!