by Minoka Gunesekera
Read Exodus 12:1-14
Many times when I go home from seminary I eat with my closest friends and family. It has become almost a ritual. The food and the actions may not be very unique, but when my community gathers for a meal it shows me an example of God’s love and devotion. And those moments of love I hold in my heart when I am away and I feel like I am about to walk into an “impending plague” or a time of trial. Just like the memory of these meals, God’s protection follows us when we feel like we need to be rescued, not because we did anything to deserve it but because that is God’s expression of mercy.
In this passage we see the story of the Passover. It is a ritual meal between families to signify preparation for exile and protection from the impending plague. Many Christians forget that this story is vital to our lives, just as it is for our Jewish brothers and sisters. In the New Testament it was at a Passover celebration that Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper. These rituals we read about in this passage are far more than words and actions. They are a time of preparation. Passover, just as the season of Lent, is a time to prepare by becoming better, more Christ-like people.
The blood of the lamb in verse seven signifies this protection. It is a mark of protection for the people who will eventually leave for exile. The blood on the doors reminds me similarly of how we protect our loved ones. When I was younger my parents would put me in the middle of them when we walked down the street. Their bodies (and their blood) were shielding me from the evil around me. The blood in the book of Exodus signifies God’s shielding over God’s people. It signifies that God is present in human life, and aids in moving people from oppression to redemption. Have you remembered and commemorated that we have faith in a God who hears our cries for help and protect us?
In verse 14 we read that this festival is to be used for generations to come as a remembrance, but I would argue many of us have forgotten. We get busy in our daily lives and forget the role that God plays in protecting us. I urge you on this today to remember the blood that was given for all of our sins and to rejoice that even in the “impending plagues”, God hears us.
Dear Lord, Thank you for being with your people in Egypt. Thank you for protecting them just as you protect us today by giving your son to die for our sins. Help us to give thanks for your protection on our lives, and to never forget that it isn’t about what we do, but what you do because you love us. Amen.
Minoka Gunesekera is from Blacksburg, VA. She is currently in her first year at Duke Divinity School with hopes to pursuit ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.