Birth, Rebirth, and the Shadow of Death

I am within hours of giving birth.  Our house is full of  healthy, energetic children.   Yet today, I’m mindful of the shadow of death.  The death that each one of us deserves to die, but doesn’t have to.

At sundown tomorrow night, we begin our celebration of Passover.  One of the most powerful things about the Passover meal, or seder,  is that it’s a first person celebration.  We don’t talk about what God did for the Israelites, we talk about what God did for us.

  When we were slaves…

…God brought us out of Egypt…

…the angel of  death passed over us…

This is personal.  Passover reminds us that each of us was a slave to something.  And if the angel of death has passed over you, it’s no accident.  Somebody was sacrificed, somebody’s blood  was applied.  This didn’t just happen long ago and far away.  It happened as part of your own story.

This morning, I was in bed breathing through a contraction, and one of our sons came in to “snuggle” with me (I snuggled, he wiggled).  He had lots of questions about death.  And about eternal life.  At the end of the conversation, he made some decisions.  He began his journey out of slavery and into freedom.   The Passover story is part of his own story now.

When I talk about making it part of your own story, I’m not suggesting that you have to go out and sacrifice a lamb.  I’m not saying you have to smear blood over your door.  But however you celebrate, make it a first person celebration.

If you are celebrating in freedom, what were you a slave to?  When did Death pass you by?

la fille


P.S.  Yesterday, before I had a chance to post this, I gave birth to our daughter.  We got to celebrate a birth and rebirth in the same day! More on her story later…



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