The Easter holiday is celebrated in Brazil much like it is in the US: Supermarkets are flooded with chocolate goodies and Easter bunnies become the most popular celebrities. Brazilians go out of their way to buy expensive chocolate eggs to remind their loved ones that they are special. In the midst of the rush and distractions of the season, it is very easy for us to forget the story behind the holiday.
For the last several years, congregations here are trying to keep alive the story of Easter. We remember the Israelites in captivity and how God rescued them in the Exodus story. The slain lamb’s blood marked the homes of people whose identity was to be founded in God. They were God’s people. The Passover meal, through symbols that you can see, feel and taste, kept these truths alive in the mind of future generations.
On the Wednesday preceding Easter holiday, we had a special Passover style meal after sunset together as a church. In candle light, we gathered around a table and remembered the traditional elements in light of the Christ. The bitter herbs and Charoset, reminded us of Israel’s slavery in Egypt, and our own slavery to sin. The unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, reminded us of our unity as a Body in Christ. And finally, the lamb reminded us of the sacrificed offering that has risen, giving us freedom and exodus into a new life.
This was a cherished experience for us as a community seeking Christ as God’s people, and we hope that others can make use of tradition as an aid in remembering eternal truths.