Christians congregate around Seder table at Grace Chapel
The foods collected on each table — parsley, unleavened bread, apples and horseradish, among other items — seemed unrelated on first glance Tuesday night. But together, they told the liberation story of the Israelites from Egypt.
More than 300 people participated in a Messianic Jewish Passover Seder, a Jewish ritual meal that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover, at Grace Chapel Church Tuesday.
Messianic Rabbi Robert Israel Solomon, from Tachad Ministries in Roswell, Ga., led the Seder after three days of workshops on the Jewish ties to Christianity at Grace.
“It’s good the church is doing this,” Solomon said. “It’s important the church understands its Jewish roots.”
During Solomon’s three days at Grace, he spoke about the conflicts among Israel, Palestine and the rest of the Middle East, along with the relationship between Israel and the church for the end-time prophecy.
“Christians and people in general are becoming very interested in this type of message because the end times are growing closer,” Solomon said. “People sense the time we are in is very meaningful.”
Messianic Jews believe Jesus, or Yeshua, is the Jewish Messiah, but maintain their Jewish identify, Solomon said.
Solomon led the group through each step of the Seder, highlighting the significance of each item placed on the table. For example, parsley. representing life created and sustained by God. was dipped into salt water, representing the tears of Egypt’s Jewish slaves, and was eaten to remember that life is sometimes immersed in tears.
This is the third year the church has hosted a Seder, and the Rev. Rudy Holland of Grace said the Seder teaches people about the Bible, a core tenet of the church.
“We understand that Judaism is our roots, and what the Old Testament tells us and New Testament reveals is a continuing story,” Holland said.
This year’s Seder was by far the largest and most festive the church has hosted, he said, and brings the community together.
“The Seder teaches the Bible, and we are a Bible-teaching church,” Holland said.
A Seder is meant to be a family meal, Solomon said, and he likes for people to have fun during the gathering while being spiritually enlightened.
“The Christian church is starting to become very hungry to understand their Jewish roots in Christianity,” Solomon said. “Understanding these roots, it’s as if going from black and white television to Technicolor in the Gospel.”