Church Notebook: Easter and Passover holidays are intertwined

Written by Martha Williams March 25, 2013 04:17 pm

What do Easter and Passover have to do with each other?

It’s so easy to think of them as the two distinctly different occasions that they are — yet they are inextricably linked for Christians.

God gave the Jewish people specific instructions for remembering how they were freed from Pharaoh’s slavery. Those instructions concluded with a special meal — the Passover seder — and it was right after Jesus celebrated this meal with his disciples that he was arrested and the events leading to his crucifixion were set in motion. Next week is the seven-day event of Passover that culminates with the Seder on Saturday.

The celebration of Passover for the Jewish communities of Curry and Del Norte counties will begin at sunset Monday. Temple Beth Shalom will host its Seder (or ritual meal) at 4 p.m. next Saturday, March 30.

This will take place at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Hall, 140 Marine Way, and the public is invited. Just bring a potluck item, and  $5  to join in this joyous festival commemorating the story in Exodus in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

In the book of Exodus (which, by the way, is in both the Torah and the Bible) the story is told of how God instructed Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, and what it took for Pharaoh to finally let them go.

Ten plagues were inflicted upon Egypt before he would release the Israelites — plagues of insects, frogs, locusts, and water turning to blood, but only after the death of every firstborn did Pharaoh relent.

The Israelites were instructed to mark their doorways with the blood of a spring lamb, and seeing that blood, God would “pass over” that home and none would die. This is, of course, how this event got its name.

The Jews left Egypt so quickly that there was no time for bread to rise. In Jewish tradition, this is the unleavened bread — matzo — that is eaten.

If you want to attend, please call Vivian at 541-412-7105. They’ll need to know how many are coming.

Jewish events are interesting to attend even for Christians — and Jewish music — that is simply some of the most beautiful there is.

This is a very brief synopsis of that story — why not pick up a Bible or Torah and read the whole thing? There was a whole lot of stuff going on in that particular story, things that show how God was looking out for his people.

• Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. There will be a special program at Pelican Bay Evangelical Free church at 6 p.m. The church is located on Blueberry Lane off Blackwell.

Conducted by David Sedaca of Chosen People Ministries, it is designed to help both Jewish and Christian communities to better understand their common heritage.

Several of our churches have some pretty full schedules this season. These include:

• Grace Lutheran Church, Palm Sunday, 11 a.m., Procession of the Palms and singing by schoolchildren; 5:30 p.m., movie night, Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” (note, however, this is too graphic for younger kids); Maundy Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m. worship with the Lord’s Supper; Good Friday, 7 p.m. service; Easter Sunday; traditional worship with Lord’s Supper, 8:30 a.m., contemporary service with Lord’s Supper, 11 a.m., egg hunt for the kids, approximately 10:30 a.m.

• St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Palm Sunday, 10 a.m., short processional, palms, reading of the Passion gospel; Monday and Tuesday, 5:15 p.m., Stations of the Cross; Wednesday, 12:15 p.m., tenebrae service; Thursday, 12:15 p.m., Maundy Thursday service with foot washing; Friday, 12:15 p.m., Good Friday service; Saturday, 8 p.m., Easter Vigil; Easter Sunday, 10 a.m. service with Flowering of the Cross, everyone invited to bring cut flowers for children to decorate the cross.

• Smith River United Methodist Church, Sunrise Service, 7 a.m., at Salmon Harbor, followed by breakfast at the church.

• Crescent City United Methodist Church, Thursday at noon, a traditional service of Holy Communion, with members seated at tables of 12; Good Friday, 7:30 p.m., Chancel Choir will complete the journey from the upper room to the cross with the cantata, “This Rock,” (child care provided); the cantata will conclude Easter Sunday with the anthem.

• First Baptist Church, Good Friday service, 6 p.m.; Easter Sunday, “Sonrise” service, 7 a.m. at the church, breakfast at 8 a.m., and service at 9:30 a.m.

• New Life Community Church, Easter Sunday, Sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. down on the beach below the church. There will be a change this year — instead of breakfast following the sunrise service, there will be a potluck following the 10:30 a.m. service.

Watch for information next week on a couple of great events scheduled by the Crescent City Church of Christ.

To contact Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it