Passover at our house this evening. Schedules were just too hectic around Easter, so we opted for the Jewish Passover date. I guess this is our 12th straight year to celebrate with our covenant group. What a memorable evening. The lighting of the candles, the cup of sanctification (with the four questions: Why matzah? Why maror? Why dip twice? Why recline?), the cup of deliverance, the cup of redemption, and the cup of praise. Dayenu! Communion. "Next year in the New Jerusalem!" "May the year be filled with peace for each family here. If this year brings prosperity, we give God the credit; if failure, we ask for hope; if sadness, we expect encouragement from each other as we strive to live for God in a world of conflict. O God, please transform us into the image of Jesus, our Messiah. Amen!" I'm so thankful that we're setting 20 places tonight rather than 18. Chris Cope and Austin Lemmons both took terrible blows to their bodies in the rollover accident in January. Tonight, the bitter herbs and the haroseth will carry special meaning as we remember the wreck that sent them flying to Ft. Worth and took the life of their friend Brody. We'll remember not just the bitterness of slavery, but the bitterness of mourning for a child (as we have for Megan for a decade and as the Bourlands are now). And yet the whole meal captures our belief that slavery and bitterness and mourning and death do not speak the final work. God does. He has spoken definitively in Jesus Christ. Maranatha!