Passover and Easter don’t always overlap. It just seems like they do. That seems right since both put so many people in a reflective, rebirth mode. Spring is the start of something. A new chance, new energy, new freedom. I am stronger because it is spring. I feel it. That it is Passover and Easter puts a stamp on it.
I was raised a Methodist but fell down on the story of the Resurrection. This being the linchpin of Christianity put me on the sidelines. I didn’t understand Christianity’s central tenet of Christ dying for our sins. I kept this a secret though since admitting it seemed heretical. It was a given. That I didn’t understand the given seemed more a reflection on me than on the truth. I was one person who didn’t get it amidst millions who did. I wondered how they knew.
As a child, I loved Easter for its cheer. Especially coming after Good Friday, that time between noon and three when the lights went out and we all spoke softly and grieved for the crucifixion. It was thick and heavy, almost as if it was happening now somewhere close by. Once when I was a kid, I heard of someone going to a movie on Good Friday afternoon and I was astonished beyond words. Who would do that?
Easter meant an Easter basket and dressing in new clothes. It meant walking to church wearing black patent leather shoes and lacy anklets. At church, everyone was dressed to the nines. There were lilies on the altar and soaring music. Even if I didn’t understand the Resurrection, I understood hope and possibility. I still do and, in my own way, thank God for both.
In comparison to Easter, Passover is almost cerebral. It requires less of a leap of faith for me to understand the deep symbolism of the Jews leaving Egypt to become free people and to apply that long travail to that suffered by oppressed people now. Each year when we follow the Haggadah, eat the ritual foods, and say the blessings, I feel as at home as I have ever felt. I dip the parsley in salt water and I feel the burst of green in my mouth. It is hope and possibility.
So when we were out driving today and my husband saw the cross and the Star of David, we made a U-turn to take a picture. I thought at first that a church had put the cross and flag out as a show of peace and goodwill but, after I got out of the car to take the picture, I saw that there was a house way far back from the road. This was someone’s statement to the world, their own reality. Who are they, I wondered.
We could be friends.