I’ve been to a seder or two in my life, but not enough to know how to spell it, or perform the Cohen incantations. Suddenly, I’m invited today to have Passover at the Shalom Baptist Church. I’ve been reading the Gospel of John lately, and informed one of their congregationists that an incident occured in the Gospel where a Jew who dabbled in exorcisms began healing in the name of Jesus — so powerful was the energy, so high was the faith of men immediately after the time of Jesus.
I have another customer, a lady who resells health products, and she swears her fiber drink cures cancer. She tells me, “People are being healed”, and I realize its the same function of psychology, to claim your product does everything, as to claim that a man has come who is the Messiah and things are healing through him. Of course, one I consider cheap marketing, and the other is the real deal and greater than science.
This dinner should be interesting. I’m trying to do some C.S. Lewis reading to prepare for the Jews who insist they’ve found Jesus.
(It’s a very raw wound. I personally flip a shit when Shi’ites invoke the divinity of Ali, it’s like we’re all back in 33 A.D. or 632 C.E., the scandalous schism which divided churches and synagogues and families. Every time a Jew claims to find Jesus, it’s a shock to their former community, as though the man was still walking around performing miracles and luring people away from the Temple priests.)
My time at Shalom Baptist Church was so much fun. I had great food, and the pastor gave a really thorough explanation of the rites of Passover — something you don’t get in a Jewish setting where its one bite after another.
SBC caters to Christians with a Jewish background, and actually ties in many Jewish rituals to their Christian worship. They celebrate Shavkout, the holiday of the first fruits. They celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day. There is no pork at their meals.
I got into some arguments over Islam (one former Catholic told me Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) was the anti-Christ), but I flossed some charm and quickly focused on greater matters, like “I’m reading the Gospel of John and its really cool.” The former Catholic then began a debate with a current Catholic, and I left that discussion quickly.
I was expecting a solemn seder, like the Jewish ones I’ve been to — much like Christianity, this one was more jovial and informal. I met alot of Jewish converts to Christianity, and discussed with them how the Gospel of John talks about the shock of Jesus’ message to the synagogues, and the same outrage and controversy happens today. Its not easy leaving the religion of your ancestors, but even less to join that of your rival. Jewish converts to Christianity are brave souls, and live underground lives in many cases.
I got access to a very cool subculture in Forest Hills.