Mark 14:12-16

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. Mark 14:12-16

Get any group of old friends together and, at some point, a story will be told that begins with the words, “Hey, remember when…” Imaginations kick in. They won’t just remember the story in their minds, they will experience it again in their bodies.

Shared stories are evocative – laughter, tears, anger, pride. They are also constitutive – they create a sense of identity, togetherness, community.

The Passover story remains such a story among Jews. The traditions, the food, the setting, the memories, both at a family level and a communal level.

Hey, remember when our ancestors found themselves at the edge of starvation so they traveled to Egypt hoping to find food?

Hey, remember how shocked they were to find that Joseph had achieved such a powerful position that he was able to make provision for his family?

Remember how it was that the Egyptians turned on our people and reduced us to slavery?

Remember how God raised up Moses who confronted Pharaoh with the cry to “Let my people go!” And then, how God punished Egypt until finally giving the instructions to quickly prepare a lamb, spreading its blood on the doorposts of our homes, eating it fully clothed so we would be ready to run?

Remember how Pharaoh’s army drowned in the sea?

Remember how our people wandered in the wilderness for 40 long, hard years? How God provided food and water. How God provided the Law. How God brought us into the Promised Land. How God continued to reach out to us through the voices of the prophets. How God has promised to send us another Moses, the Messiah, who will right the wrongs of our lives.

These were the stories rolling around in the minds of the disciples of Jesus as they went on their errand to find a place where they would celebrate Passover together. Little did they know….

Passover teaches us that God wants to see the enslaved liberated, the oppressed set free.

Passover teaches us that God leads the way.

Passover teaches us that God will provide.

Passover teaches us that we will all get through this together.

Passover teaches us that the end of the story has not yet been told.

So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, thank you for the stories that make us who we are, and teach us who you are. Remind us that you lead us, not just TO the wilderness but THROUGH the wilderness, to a better place. May we, like your first disciples, always be willing to do what we can to continue your work in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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