Tonight at one of the churches I attend there was a Seder meal followed up by a Maundy Thursday service. Now the Seder meal is part of the Jewish belief system, it’s tied to Passover and remembrance of what God did to save the Israelites while in captivity by the Egyptians. Foods at a Seder meal contains rich symbolism (click here if you want to know about the food and the meanings behind the food), not all were presented at the dinner but most of them were.
It is the bread and wine that Jesus and his disciples partook during their Seder meal that has become the tradition of Communion/Eucharist/The Lord’s Supper, with this symbolism in mind as I dined pretty much like how they did, my imagination and mind started drifting.
On my mother’s side of the family going back 150 years some of her family members were Jewish. In fact, one of said relatives was deemed The Jew in his community. Was he a Rabbi or some other leader within his synagogue? I don’t know, but someday I hope to find out more. So, ancestrally, I am Jewish, and when my imagination started drifting I thought about how those relatives shared this very meal I was eating…but my mind also wandered back to Jesus and his disciples eating the same meal…and then I went back to the first Passover with Moses and the Israelites.
History hasn’t always been written down, for a while what was known was passed down from generation to generation by way of oral tradition. What Jesus and his disciples practiced out was centuries old when they partook of Passover, and perhaps some of it was written down, but certainly parts of it were passed down by way of, you guessed it, oral tradition.
My mind dwelt on these things, and then I started thinking about Jungian Psychology and the area of Psychology he came up with called “Collective Unconscious” which says that in some way traditions and symbols and ways of the past get instilled into future generations on an unconscious level, and this keeps on happening from generation to generation. I don’t necessarily believe in C.U. but I kinda like how it could explain why some things are just “known” and granted I believe environment has a lot to play into it; We know (or even don’t know) things because of the life we’re brought into, traditions that have history and lore to it, it helps makes us who we are and in some way it actually defines us.
But with my imagination and C.U. meshed together for a good 30 mins, I saw the past (Moses and the first Passover), 2000 years ago (Jesus and his disciples celebrating Passover), the 1860s (my mother’s family celebrating Passover) and me and those who were at this Seder meal doing the same thing…
I don’t use drugs, but that was certainly a trip that didn’t require a passport 😉
I love traditions and I hope to instill some into the life of my future family when I get there. Something to keep various aspects of my past alive, something that I hope my wife and kids will appreciate and continue on when I’m gone.
Sometimes, sometimes it takes having a good history to make a great future but you have to keep moving and preparing the way to make it so.