Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.

Thought for the Month

What is this Pesach פֶּסַח “PASSOVER SUPPER”?

On Holy Tuesday 11th April a Passover Supper will be held at Morley Retreat, hosted by the Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall. This will start at 6 pm and finish by about 8 pm. In the Jewish Calendar 11th April 2017 is 15th Nissan 5777 – the first full day of this year’s weeklong Jewish Passover Festival.

Why a Passover Supper? What we call the Last Supper, when Jesus with his disciples on Maundy Thursday evening instituted what we now call the Eucharist (or Communion or Mass), was in fact their annual Passover Meal. Jesus was a Jew and the Passover has been one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar for nearly 3,500 years. The Passover Supper is just as important to a Jewish family as Christmas Dinner is to a Christian family. Jews celebrate the Passover to commemorate God intervening in history through Moses at the Exodus – the ‘passing-over’ of God’s people from slavery to freedom.

What happens at the meal follows rules laid down in Exodus 13. So our two hours
together will be a mixture of

  • dinner – a simple two-course meal with lots of (non-alcoholic) wine to drink and a number of special symbolic foods to eat;
  • worship – praying, singing and bible reading; and
  • teaching – Geoffrey explaining how all this is reflected in what we do Sunday by Sunday in our churches.

Children are central to a Passover Supper because they symbolise the continuity of the Jewish people. They help cook, they hunt for hidden bread, they shout out the Ten Plagues and they ask questions – Why do we eat unleavened bread? and Why do we eat bitter herbs? and Why do we dip parsley in salt water? and Why do we have a lamb bone on the plate? and Why do we start our meal with an egg?

Come and enjoy a fun evening. Numbers will be limited because of the size of the kitchen and dining room. Please buy a £5 ticket from Geoffrey so we know how many are coming.

The Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall