Eating standing up.

The Passover is a turning point in Jewish history. It’s so important, Moses writes in Exodus, that the calendar is reset to start with this event, to make this the first month of the year.

God acted in a massive way to bring freedom to the Jewish people. There was about to be an Exodus, an escape window in the wall of the ruler’s resistance. But they had to do something to demonstrate their faith. They had to mark their houses. It sounds awful to us: putting blood on the doorframe of the house. But we have to be careful not to let our own squeamishness color our understanding of the text. They were a people, like many peoples now, who live close to the land, who butchered their own livestock.

And God said, if you trust me, if you want to follow me, mark your house. And then, be ready to move.

They were to eat standing up. With their bags packed. As if God was going to do what he promised.

famI appreciate the expectancy that is captured in that requirement. Any time we eat a special meal, we sit down. We set the table. We dress up. We slow down. And God said, for this meal, don’t slow down. Be ready to go.

What if, when we obey the thing that God tells us to do – to love, to forgive, to talk about, to share, to ask for wisdom, to offer help – we prayed and then were ready to move. Rather than sitting back and waiting for God to move us, or to show us not to move, we were ready to walk out the door, or to make the house our own, to welcome someone home or to release them on their way.


A reflection from Exodus 12. This is the second of a series on faith and action that started yesterday.