Day 20: The Questions
When your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” then tell them, “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord…” Exodus 12:26-27a
We have stated that the Seder was a teaching opportunity. By word and by deed the story of redemption is played out for each successive generation. There are a ritual series of questions in the observance called the Haggadah, or the telling. This is because the Lord was explicit in his instructions to pass truth on to the generations: “Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God; his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm…It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place,” (Deuteronomy 11:2, 5). The Lord’s instruction was for them to carefully, intentionally teach their children about him and his ways with his people, while they sat and while they walked, before bedtime and when they arose, when they went in and when they went out (Deuteronomy 4:9; 11:19-20).
Often in the Seder it is the role of the youngest child to ask the questions:“On all other nights we eat bread or matzah. On this night, why do we eat only matzah? On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables. On this night, why do we eat only bitter herbs? On all other nights, we do not dip our vegetables. On this night, why do we dip them twice? On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining. On this night why do we eat only reclining?” Through answering these questions the adults pass the meaning of redemption down.
Pastor Bob Page used to challenge us with the question: Have you shared your faith story with your children? That’s a good challenge—not just how we’ve been saved, but how God has walked with us through our lives, particularly the hard times. It is vital that we do this.
• Do you have specific rituals or times of teaching that lay out before your
children/grandchildren the story of redemption—at Christmas, Easter, anniversaries, birthdays…New Year? Any celebration you have can be an intentional opportunity to demonstrate God’s place in your life to pass on the legacy of faith to the next
Lord, thank you for preserving your word and your truth throughout the generations, and for those who were faithful to pass it on to me. Show me creative ways to teach truth to those coming up behind me. Help me to be faithful and intentional in sharing your redemption story.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries