Friday, March 29, 2013

A Deeper Meaning

Sunday night before last, our church had a speaker, a Christian Jew who talked about the Christ in Passover. I found it fascinating, and have been wanting to comment on it. Since there was so much information, I am just going to focus on the matzo crackers that are fresh in my mind from eating some at work yesterday. Every Passover our Jewish psychiatrist brings them in along with some butter as a way of sharing her heritage and customs with us. Rather than my trying to explain, I copied this info from another site.

First of all, let's take a look at the matzo itself. They look about like a typical saltine cracker, although they are a little darker, and about six inches square. When you look at the ingredients on the box, you will find it says: "wheat flour, and water." That's it, nothing else in there. Jesus told his disciples to "watch out for the yeast (leaven) of the pharisees" (Mt 16:6). Yeast, or any type of leaven in the Bible is symbolic of sin. So by eating unleavened bread, the Jews are symbolically removing sin from their lives.
Jesus was the only one without sin (Heb 4:15). So, the matzo is representing His life without sin. When they make the matzos, they roll out the dough, and make rows of holes in it, to help it cook. Jesus too, was "pierced for our transgressions." When it is cooked, and it is roasted to cook it, the dough between the rows of holes become brown strpes, while the dough where the holes are remains beige. Isaiah said of Jesus that "by His stripes we are healed." (Isa 53:5).
So, in everything we see looking at the matzo, there is a reminder of Jesus' body, sinless, striped, pierced for us. But that's not all.
As part of the Passover meal, there is a plate with three unbroken matzos on it. During the course of the celebration, these are stacked up and placed into a white linen bag, kind of like an envelope. Then the middle one is withdrawn, the other two being set aside. These three represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of the three, only the Son is brought out where man may look upon Him.
This middle matzo is broken in half. Jesus too, was broken for us. Of the broken matzo, half is wrapped in a linen napkin. This is called the afikomen. Well, after Jesus had died, Joseph of Arimathaea came and asked Pilate for His body. Then "he took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (Mt 27:59).
Sometime during the meal, the father, who is the leader of the Passover celebration, takes the afikomen and hides it. This is symbolic of Joseph who took Jesus body, "and laid it in his own new tomb that he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed" (Mt 27:60).
However, it doesn't stay hidden. At the end of the meal, all the children (12 and under) are sent in search of the afikomen. Whoever finds it brings it to the father who unwraps it. He holds it up so all can see, and he says "the afikomen has been found." God, the Father, didn't allow Jesus' body to remain wrapped in the linen either, He unwapped Jesus and brought Him back to life for us. He too has been brought out for all to see so that as He is lifted up, all men might be drawn to Him (John 12:32).
The child who finds the afikomen gets a prize. Of course, we know, that whoever finds the true afikomen, Jesus the Christ, finds the true prize of eternal life.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oh what a beautiful day!

Spring temperatures have arrived a few days early, and I am so glad. I am even welcoming the perceived longer days that started with DST last week. Winter has its charm, but it the excitement of the advent of spring when everything seems to start happening. Yea!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"...and the difference is you"

Fifteen years ago when I came to work where I am now, there were many new people to meet and become friends with. One was Elaine, a quiet, methodical secretary who over the years I came to enjoy and appreciate. Elaine loved to sing, and besides singing in her church choir, she occasionally sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Greenville minor league baseball home games. Elaine sang at the computer when she was putting in doctor orders. She sang when she took the patients outside on pretty days. She sang in the evenings for the patients giving them mini concerts. Elaine's easy, pitch perfect, sensitive voice was the best medicine we had, and our patients had ways of saying so. In the evenings when she and I sat across from each other at the nursing station desk, I often chimed in with her. After all, I knew those Dinah Washington songs and favorite old hymns as well as she did! Once she asked me, "How do you know our music?" I don't remember what I said, but it was my music too, and besides I didn't know music had color. Eventually our sixty-fifth birthdays loomed ahead of us, and we started talking about retirement. When should we stop working, how much money would we need to live on, and what would we do with our time, we pondered. We did officially retire, but within a few months we both came back to the familiar old place to work as we were needed, which turned out to be quite a bit. Sadly Elaine recently developed a fast growing tumor to the brain. I would have liked to have sung What a Difference a Day Makes with her one last time, but it was not to be. Today was her last. I would like to have told her she did make a difference in the lives of the many people she touched with her music, but now she has gone on to sing in that great heavenly choir. She must be loving that.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Last week was the hubby's birthday so I made him a cake, chocolate with white frosting, quite good. It had been a long time since we had had a nice cake, one that looked so pretty under the class dome on the cake stand in the kitchen, and the two of us enjoyed every bite so much that I decided to bake another cake this week. I chose to try a carrot cake, only a half cake, one layer. We really didn't need all those calories! That was a good call. It turned out heavenly, positively blogworthy. I made a few changes to the recipe that go unnoticed to the palate, unless noticeably better: sugar was half brown and half organic from WF, flour was one half organic whole wheat, oil was cut two thirds and replaced with applesauce. The icing was purely sinful.