Dayenu

April 5, 2012

I am hungry for a taco. Or some ice cream. Or just to be able to taste something.

Yesterday’s photo challenge was to take a picture of someone who makes you happy. But I was at school and then at the grocery store, and the checkout clerk did not make me extra happy. So here is a picture of My Special. He makes me happy.

Also, the lady at the Judaica store knows me. We’re friends. I went in yesterday and she asked how I was and I told her I was sick with a cold. She told me about their new Passover products. She probably wondered why this crazy Gentile black girl keeps coming into her store to buy stuff for Jewish holidays.

So my small group is doing a Passover Seder tonight. Passover is actually tomorrow, but we are under grace, OK?! Like I mentioned yesterday, God asked his people to remember the Exodus every year by eating lamb and bitter herbs and unleavened bread. So each year, people use a Haggadah, which is the liturgy of Passover to go through the Seder meal. The liturgy includes a reading of the story of the Exodus — all the plagues and how God finally brought the people out from slavery. When you participate in the Passover meal, you do it as though you were one of the people God rescued from slavery in Egypt. Although the first Passover was spent in traveling clothes and eaten quickly, now people lounge and take their time because we have been set free.

You also eat elements from the Seder plate at the meal. You dip parsley in salt water to remember the tears of bondage. You eat a bitter herb — usually radish — to remember the bitterness of slavery. And you eat an apple mixture to remind you of the mortar used in building for Pharaoh’s kingdom.

One of my favorite parts of the Passover Seder is when we recount all the things God has done for us. It’s called “Dayenu” which means “it would have been enough for us” in Hebrew. You say things like, “If God had only brought us out of slavery, but not brought us to the Red Sea, Dayenu.” “If God had only brought us to the Red Sea, but not parted it for us, Dayenu.” “If God had only parted the Red Sea, but not drowned Pharaoh’s army, Dayenu.” And on and on. I love it. It would have been enough — but God continued to act, he continued to provide, he continued to do so much more. He is good to us.

Jesus celebrated Passover. I believe that the Last Supper was a Passover meal, which is cool because we see Jesus using the elements of the meal in order to institute communion. The cup he takes after supper, the cup of the covenant cut in his blood, is known as the cup of redemption in the Seder meal. It is related to God’s promise in Exodus to redeem his people. God did it through the Exodus, and here Jesus showed that he was doing it again, this time for the whole world to set us free from our sin.

It’s really cool, you guys. It’s awesome to remember how God has set us free, to notice the elements of Passover that Jesus used when instituting communion, to eat a meal with friends in grateful praise for all the Lord has done. It is good.

OK, I best be off. Hope you have a lovely day!

So yesterday was my birthday. I turned old. Let’s not talk about it.

But let’s do talk about my wonderful friends. They took me out to dinner and then we came back and had chocolate/peanut butter ice cream cake, which could not have been any tastier. And they all got me really wonderful gifts. I was given gift cards to The Gap, Banana Republic and White House Black Market. I am hoping to get this darling little dress with that sweet gift card action.

dot dress

Also, I am quite prepared to be a world-class chef! I got a cute new red baking dish, a red serving platter (I like red), a promise of the new Pioneer Woman cookbook when it comes out next month, and a Jewish cookbook! I will be making cheese blintzes and challah bread galore.

Speaking of Jews, I also received a Jewish calendar and a darling retro children’s book about Israel. (Apparently my friends have just decided to accept my neurosis and go with it.)

I was also given a framed photo of Chip the Chipmunk so that he can live on in my heart. And I received some beautiful roses at work. And also, I got this spoon.

Isn’t it … neat? Guess what you can’t see? The fact that if you turn it around, it has a butt crack. I am very sorry for the graphic language, but I am also very sorry that I received such a graphic mixing spoon complete with arms, legs, a belly button and, oh, did I mention that it has a butt crack? I mean, what do you do? I thought you should share in my horror joy … for the great gift … thanks, Alecia!

Anyway, I have great friends and I so appreciated being able to spend my birthday with them.

My fantasy football draft is tonight. I’ve done it for quite a few years with my former co-workers at the Focus Leadership Institute. Every year I pretend like I’m going to research players and stats beforehand, and every year I arrive at the draft and end up asking something like, “Is Adrien Brody a good choice for a running forward this year?” Should be fun times.

In other news, I am embarrassed by my life yet again. I was in a doctor’s office recently, and I brought book six of the Harry Potter series to read while I was waiting. It is an excellent book and I know a bazillion adults who would say the same. So, overall, I’m pretty comfortable with my decision to love Harry Potter books because they are well-written and interesting and not just for children, OK?

So, anyhoo, I was busy traveling through the pensieve with Harry and Dumbledore when a boy and his mother walked into the doctor’s office. This boy was the tiniest of tiny boys — blond and darling and tiny. He and his mother sat down to wait for their appointment. Tiny boy, knowing he had to wait, grabbed the reading material he had brought with him. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

He opened the book with his tiny, little child hands and began reading with his tiny, little child eyes. I stared at him with my giant adult eyes, and with my giant adult hands desperately trying to hide the cover of my Harry Potter book. Tiny boy and I read on, both lost in the magic and mystery of Hogwarts.

Embarrassed. By. My. Life.

Well, I must be off, friends. I’ve got birthday thank-yous to write and tiny children to meet for book club. Have a fantabulous day!