Readings: 2 Kings 23:21-28, 2 Chronicles 35:1-19, Exodus 12
This is it! We made it! Today is day 39. Yes this is a 40 days series, a 40 day Lenten reflection of the old testament, but day 40 falls on Sunday. It’s time to celebrate! Tonight Passover begins and tomorrow begins Holy week, as we prepare for our Savior’s resurrection. This will be the last entry for this series. There will be more series to come as I continue writing, the Lord reveals so much as I write. The Lord gave me the gift of prophecy, maybe not in the sense of the word as our prophet Huldah, but definitely in the sense of the word as the promised gift that Paul speaks of to the Corinthian church. ( 1 Corinthians 14) Today we end our series on the OT in the kingdom on Judah, Josiah’s kingdom, and today is Passover.
Josiah celebrates Passover. Josiah gives an order. “You must celebrate Passover, it’s required in the Book that we found in the temple”. Scripture states that there had not been a Passover celebration like this one since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, not throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah. This Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem”
Then Josiah reaches out to the priests. ” You no longer need to carry the Ark of the Covenant back and forth on your shoulders”. He told them to begin ministering to his people. “Spend your time serving the Lord your God and your people. ” Amen, brother. Our ministers need to be serving the Lord taking care of their people Not involved in politics, Not taking care of buildings, Not fundraising. Then he assigned family divisions. He told the priests to “help the families assigned to them. ” He instructed the clergy to help the families, not pass it off to their deacons or the congregation. “Slaughter the Passover lambs, purify yourselves, and PREPARE TO HELP THOSE THAT COME.” I do not mean to go on a “soapbox” but over the years and definitely this past year frustration builds in me as I see more and more Christian nationalism in this country. I have watched my church and leaders afraid of getting their hands dirty. They want to lead and create sermons, create events. But those called to serve as priests, as ministers, as clergy, are called to care for the people. You no longer need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You are called to help the families that God has assigned to you.
Sorry. As I read this morning, this is what spoke to me. . Let’s get back to Passover. It’s interesting in this text we once again see the term “The Israelites” ( 2 Chronicles 35: 17 ) In the last hundred years or so, the people were called the “people of Israel’, the people of Judah”, the people of Jerusalem.” But this was a Passover of the unified states. The Northern and Southern kingdoms were being reunited. We are also called to be one. The children of God. Believers in the one true God. It’s doesn’t matter your race, or your orientation, or the land that you hail from. We are all one. And we are called to follow these same commandments, the same book of the law. As believers in Christ, the only thing really different is that we have a direct line to God for repentance. We no longer have to sacrifice livestock or use priests to obtain access to the Lord. God’s ultimate sacrifice of his son, gave us that direct line to him. No longer do we have the book of the law stored in some temple. The temple is now our bodies. We have the holy spirit, that lives within our temple, our bodies, given to us when we believe in Christ. The holy spirit helps guide us, it’s “our helper” just as the book of the law was the Israelites helper during those times. Remember how Josiah felt when he realized this whole time he was living without his helper, the book of the law. They found the book of the law stored away in the temple, and when he found it and read it, he got on his knees and wept. He knew that he was missing something and now he had it. The same can be for you. That helper. God has made it so much easier for us to obtain it. All we have to do is ask. It’s truly amazing.
So today, as this series ends, let’s begin our celebration of Passover. We find in Exodus 12 the directions for the first Passover. “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you MUST celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. On the first day and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assemble. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. “(We are the foreigners) (verse 19) I will be celebrating tonight with my husband at twilight, eating bread without yeast and bitter salad greens and making an offering to my God. (Numbers 6) Start your tradition today. Enjoy this adaptation of the Seder meal, https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=544.