Here’s a shocker: Jesus wasn’t a Christian. He never went to church. He never said the Nicene Creed, nor celebrated Eucharist, nor did he sing Amazing Grace or Just As I Am.

Jesus was born a Jew. He grew up in a faithful Jewish family. He died a Jew. Yes, he was even resurrected as a Jew.

That means that Jesus’ entire life, his inspiration, and his ministry were shaped by the tenets of Judaism. Lest we think that Judaism is some foreign religion that has no bearing on us as Episcopalians, we must realize our deep connection to this foundational faith. There are not many Jews in our part of the world, so we may be tempted to forget our unity with them. We worship the same God, the Lord, Yahweh, Adonai. We have been shaped by the stories of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers. We have heeded the words of the same prophets: Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Jesus, and many more.

Yet many Christians have no understanding of Jewish tradition and practice, nor do we find any connection

to them, our spiritual ancestors. That’s funny considering it is the religion of our Lord and Savior. We are not Jews, nor do we pretend to be, but we can find great meaning and inspiration from their traditions as we join with them and practice them.

On Sunday, March 24 at 5:30pm, St. Nicholas will host its very first Passover Seder Meal. Passover is the oldest holiday in the Jewish calendar, and finds its roots in the story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt. It is a joyful and celebratory family feast, which nourishes the heart and mind through worship, instruction, and food, three things in which St. Nicholas excels.

The word “seder” means “order,” so this meal is unlike any parish event we have done. It is highly interactive for all ages. It is engaging and educational. You will see glimpses of our own Christian tradition in the Passover Seder. Overall, the Seder remembers the past as it looks to the future of the coming Messiah, which we as Christians do every Holy Week.

Because the Seder is interactive and takes much preparation, we will need to know exactly how many people will be attending. You will be receiving an invitation in the mail in the next week, and we ask that you return it promptly by calling the church at 706-628-7272 or by emailing contact@stnicholashamilton.org and making your reservation. Space will be limited so we want to get as many folks as we can in to experience this event.

March 24 is also Palm Sunday and is the kick-off of Holy Week. We hope this Seder Meal will enrich your Holy Week and will inspire you and draw your family closer this year. If you have any questions about our Seder or would like to help, please contact Sue Halmrast at suehalmrast@att.net.

Jeff+