What to Pass On about the Passover…
Passover, Easter, Good Friday….they are all over and gone for the season, and yet their lessons linger in my spirit as I reflect on our world springing forth all around us. What a great time of year. New energy, longer days, temperatures that make it comfortable to sleep with the windows open. Oh God is good! But it doesn’t last forever. The day will come where I will not celebrate the tulips and lilies or the snow of winter. For right now though, I seek to live in the here and now. I seek to live scriptural truths. I also want to be clear about what I am “passing on’ to you and our youth, my children and future generations about these scriptural truths that so shape my life. I am very grateful to know the scriptural story…it is the life enhancing, spirit giving, and freedom creating word of God.
BUT some parts of scripture are terrible. So, just what do I PASS OVER and what do I PASS ON?
Do you believe that God drowns all people in order to start again? That’s the implication of Noah’s Ark, if you take it literally. God drowns toddlers, one day old children, elderly, the mentally handicap…Ouch. Do you remember that about Noah’s Ark from Sunday School, or just the part about the Ark. Did your Sunday School teacher PASSOVER that detail? I hope so because it is not true. That is not the God we believe in. It happens to be a story written by people who believe in that type of God. We do not believe that, even if it’s in the Bible!
Another story….in the story of the Passover, God passes over the Jewish families, but takes the life of all the first born Egyptians. First born could be from a few days old to teenagers….all done so that the Egyptian leadership would free the Jews. Why not hold the Egyptian leadership accountable for oppression, instead of punishing innocent children. I think I’ll pass on, passing this story on. The Passover story is a freedom story. God does not want slavery. God does not want oppression. God wants freedom. That messge is worth passing on!
A new Christianity is emerging in America. It looks critically at scripture and realizes that different people or tribes have understood God differently throughout Biblical history. Some people see God as a tyrant who punishes children for the sins of the parents. Others understood God as one who welcomes all the children into his arms. Which story do you PASS OVER? Which story do you PASS ON?
I hope you can join us for a 4 week sermon series, entitled “The Four Questions”, it begins April 30, with the first question, “What is the character of your God?”