It was a year when Easter Sunday fell on the first night of Passover. Charlie was trying to figure out a good way to meld the two holidays together. The Silverman-Clarke family is a mixed-faith family, and the kids had reached the age where they were old enough to ask questions, and eager to learn.
Charlie Silverman could easily weigh in on the Passover part of the holiday. Pesach (as she calls it) is one of those holidays rich with symbols, special foods, and most of all a story.
Her husband Chris, is on the Easter side, but when she asked him to explain the significance of Easter, all he could come up with was a skimpy sentence, “the day Jesus was resurrected.”
Chris just wasn’t “that into it.” Charlie was on her own.
Google may not be the best teacher in the world, but Charlie only had a few days to learn, and local clergy was a tad busy that time of year.
Her search confirmed Chris’s explanation. But what was really interesting was when she read about the origin of Easter, coming from a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth, honoring the Goddess Eastre.
There were Jewish holidays that originated from pagan celebrations too. And the part about renewal and rebirth, that closely mirrored Passover’s message.
Charlie decided to begin Sunday morning with all the modern day American Easter traditions; an Easter egg hunt, an Easter basket filled with sweet marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies, and a story about the springtime miracle of Jesus, which gives promise to a life eternal.
The evening was dedicated to the Passover Seder, reading from the Haggadah and sharing the story of the Jews escape from slavery and the promise of life on earth, lived in freedom.
The Silverman-Clarkes like many mixed-faith families, find challenges and opportunities when sharing their respective faith traditions.
When it comes to celebration, they grab the holidays with gusto. In fact you might be amused to see a brightly colored Easter egg sitting on a Seder plate next to a bitter herb. Or an Easter basket stuffed with a drawstring bag filled with toy locusts, boils, and plagues.
Above all else, there is one universal family value that requires no adaptation. God. Charlie and Chris are in full agreement to raise their children in a house covered by the protection of the Lord. They love God, they live in a Godly way, and they teach their children about God.
It may be a lesson plan that’s not typical. It may be a while until they find a house of worship welcoming to folks like them. Yet, in the process, the family learns together, prays together and loves together. Praise God who creates all His children in His image.
Happy Easter and Happy Passover from Prayables.