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!

Preparing for Passover

April 4, 2012

It snowed all day yesterday.

And my sinuses hurt.

And I have to teach a class today at school that I am woefully unprepared for.

And I like to whine.

Yesterday’s photo of the day was “mail.” My mail was pretty boring, so I took a picture of a cute, old mailbox that I keep in my room. It’s called creativity, you guys.

Also, retraction. Apparently Diana did not win the bracket, but Matthew did. (Clearly I didn’t actually look at the bracket before pronouncing it on my blog. I’m not good with the fact checking. Apparently you shouldn’t believe much you read here.) Anyway, congrats, Matthew! Your gift basket of Toby Mac CDs and broccoli is in the mail!

So, Passover is on Friday. It’s the first holiday God commanded his people to celebrate in Exodus 12. It is the night of the final plague in Egypt and the Israelites are finally going to be set free from the yoke of the Egyptians. Pharaoh has hardened his heart numerous times, but this last plague will leave him devastated and he will finally allow the Israelites to leave. Moses has warned Pharaoh of what is about to happen, and God has given instructions for the meal Israel is supposed to eat as they prepare to leave. They are to dress in traveling clothes, eat a lamb, eat bitter herbs, and avoid leaven. Most importantly, they must take hyssop and spread the blood of the lamb over their doors. The Lord is about to pass over Egypt, and he will smite the firstborn of anyone who does not have the blood of the lamb upon their doorposts.

The Lord provided a way for people to be saved from the destroyer—it was a monumental night in the history of Israel, and he wanted them to remember what he had done forever. God gave them tangible ways to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt — lamb, herbs, unleavened bread. This meal would forever remind the Israelites that God passed over them and brought them freedom. It is also important to note that the Israelites had a task to do. In order to be saved, they had to put the blood of the slaughtered lamb over the doorpost.

God told them to celebrate the Passover — to remember the Exodus — every year on the 14th day of the first month. So, they did. Sometimes they sinned and didn’t do it. But then they would remember again. Jesus celebrated it — it is where communion was first instituted.

Tomorrow we’ll chat more about the details of the Passover seder. It’s pretty awesome.

Have a good day, friendsies!

It kind of rhymes, you guys.

Let’s forget the fact that it’s in the 40s with a chance of snow today. Let’s focus on this past weekend and how it was in the 80s. “Always focus on the past.” That’s the old saying, right?

My friend Diana had some of her besties in town, so on Saturday we did fun things in Denver. We visited the Highlands, which is where I want to live someday in a darling old house filled with hardwood floors and radiators. We shopped and accidentally bought a couple of things. We ate lunch in a cute little house that has been turned into a delish Italian restaurant, and we took pictures of the tulips that are bright and blooming in March. We walked around downtown and enjoyed Denver like I wish I would every week. But normally I am in the library every week. It is not as fun as exploring Denver.

Then last night a few of us went out to the Mercury Cafe for swing dancing! I hadn’t been there in such a long time, and it was so much fun! I’m not good at swing dancing, but if you have a decent partner, he’ll swing ya in the direction you need to go. There are nice lights and a live band and girls in dresses and gentlemen who ask you to dance. I am going to go there every day.

So my friend Emma informed me of this fun photo challenge for the month of April. There’s a list on this site, and you take a picture of whatever is on the list for the whole month. I may or may not follow through, but I thought I’d at least give it a shot for now. So here’s yesterday’s pic:

Your Reflection

I’ve had that mirror as long as I can remember.

My friend Kerry reminded me of this song by Ian Britt, so I’ve been listening to it on repeat like an insane person for hours. Join me.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, you guys. At our church we all received palm branches and stood outside. We heard the reading about palm Sunday from the Bible, and we said “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Then my friend Kevin played his djembe and we all marched into church waving our branches.

Would you like to know some interesting facts about the word “hosanna”? OK! It is the hiphil stem of the verb “yasha” which means “to save.” It’s the same root as Jesus’ name, Yeshua. In Hebrew, “na” is an interjection which means “please.” Lord, save us please! And he has.

Another cool thing about palm Sunday is that it is just a few days before Passover, my favorite of all the holidays God commanded. We’re celebrating it on Thursday with my small group. I highly encourage you to attend a Passover Seder if you can. It’s amazing. (You can also do your own seder. All you need is a Haggadah to lead you through the liturgy. This is the one I use.) Anyway, the day Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem was also something called “lamb selection day.” In Exodus 12, God gave instructions for the yearly Passover. On the 10th day of the month, each family was to select a lamb without blemish. They would keep that lamb — feed it and care for it and spend time with it — until the 14th day of the month when it would be slaughtered at twilight for the Passover meal. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the day of the lamb selection — unblemished, the one who could and would save. Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Ok, lessons over for the day.

Spring break has come and gone, which means I should probably spend five days (instead of four) in the library this week. Hope your Monday is off to a good start, friendsies!

Orangey

April 16, 2011

Here’s Friday’s outfit — I like its orangey tint. I have the tiniest of slightest colds, so apparently I felt the need to sit down for the photos.

Sweater: Gap. Shirt: Target. Jeans: Express. Shoes: My faves from DSW. Necklace: Yet again stolen from my mother. (She buys a lot of cute jewelry but she never wears it, so whenever I go home I take things from her.) This outfit has been brought to you by Mr. Cinch.

I found about ninety pairs of shoes at Target that I want to get. Like these and these. And also, these. I can’t go out and buy anything until this challenge is over, but I am willing to accept gifts.

I’m having a few people over for a Passover Seder tonight. Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m Jewish. It’s a really cool tradition, and as a Christian, I think it’s super meaningful. We remember how God rescued the Israelites from slavery and also look at how Jesus fulfilled all of the promises of God as our Passover Lamb. It’s cool. You should do one.

Ok, that’s it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend — enjoy the sun!

Long Time No See!

April 21, 2009

FRIENDSIES!!!

I have absolutely no excuse for not blogging for the last 600 years. I mean, I did start a new job, so there’s less time to sit around on the couch and write Judge Mathis updates. But still. This is completely unacceptable. I humbly ask for your forgiveness, which you should grant me. It’s probably what Jesus would want you to do. Just saying.

Anyway, I am three weeks into my new job. Still adjusting and such — I am quite the Sunday school curriculum editor. Remember all of the flannelgraphs from the good old Sunday school days? That’s what I’m working with every day, baby. Jealous?

What else is new? My park and rec softball team is 5 and 1. That’s like our best record ever. We’re attributing it to our new bat and our spiffy new t-shirts.

Also, our garden is slowly becoming victorious! It’s taken our tomato sprouts forever and ever, mainly because our house is so freezing. But we have like ten wittle bitty baby sprouts right now! They are so darling. alecia-005 This picture is before they all started coming up, but just imagine lots of little green lives in that soil. The peppers are a whole different story so far. They are not sprouting. They’re supposed to take longer than the tomatoes, though, so we’ll see.

Also, I am supposedly running a half marathon in two weeks. Please don’t make me! It is seriously killing me. I’ve done one once before and, don’t get me wrong, it was horrible. But this one is so much worse. Apparently my body is about 90 years old. I have to wear a knee brace, my back is constantly killing me, my ankles hurt. Also, I got slammed in the shin with a softball tonight (this could have been avoided if I had simply fielded the ball correctly, but that was too much to ask), so I now have a huge lump on my shin. And I have to run 11 miles tomorrow. Poor, poor, poor me.

I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to tell you during the last few weeks, but now I’ve forgotten them all. It’s my own fault. Hey, I hosted a Passover Seder for the fourth year! I love it. My friend Micah blogged about it, so you should go read about it over there. Every single person should celebrate Passover. It’s way cool. Also celebrated Easter at our house and it was good times. Pastel polka dot plates, an Easter bunny, an egg hunt, and lots of food. Also, a snow storm.

OK, that has to be all for now because I’ve got to do some Bible study homework, ice my shin and commence dreading tomorrow’s run.

Leave me a comment to let me know how you’ve been!