The last few years God has laid this idea on my heart. I had always thought it would be neat to celebrate Good Friday with a passover type meal with our church. Non-Jewish churches sometimes do this, as a way to focus on the death and resurrection of Christ and not the Easter Bunny. Circumstances prevented me from making this become a reality (we moved the week of Easter), so we decided to put it off for the time being. I go to a very small church- many of the members are related, and we generally have less than 40-50 people each Sunday. Sometimes the kids out number the adults. But, it is a wonderful church. Our pastor is so honest and gentle and only speaks what the Holy Spirit is giving to him at that moment. He delves deep into the Word and always delivers exactly what God wants to say.
Anyways, I had done lots of research last winter and even tested several recipes, got up in front of the church to explain the idea and it was well received. However that was for a passover type feast. In September, Rosh Hashana is celebrated, and while I'm not trying to make us like Jews, I want to get the meal close to what Jesus would have had at the time. They celebrated the New Year during this feast and most of the foods have a sweet taste to them, in hopes they would have a sweet year.
So, I've been mulling it over in my mind for a few weeks, and I believe this would be the right time to do it. If I wait till life is calmer, then it will never happen. I can do all things through Christ!
So, for the next several weeks I will be stocking my freezer with foods.
Here is the menu:
*At each table there will be a platter with a large braided (hopefully a six strand one) challah bread. Surrounding it will be grapes, dried apricots and dates, bowls of olives, spiced olive oil, and maybe feta cheese crumbles. On each side of the platter I plan to have large hurricane globes with candles in them, a white tablecloth underneath with a dark runner or something like that over it. I have goblets for water and 'new wine'- which will be grape juice with a touch of ginger ale or something.
*Then we will have a lentil-barley soup, made with homemade chicken stock, partially pureed, served with a lemon wedge to squeeze over it. (this is really tasty)
*Next is roasted lamb, whole sweet roasted onions and carrots, and I will probably make a mint sauce or something for the lamb to cut the after taste.
*Next is a honey sponge cake with a citrus honey glaze, whipped cream, and maybe some sauteed apples.
*Hot mint or chai tea will be served afterwards.
I had originally wanted to make cushions for us to sit on, and put the tables on cinder blocks to create 'lounging around the table' feel, but we have several elderly people coming, and chairs would be better.
Things I can make ahead right now are the stock/soup, bread, cake, and buying the lamb ahead of time. This makes me a little nervous because my church is fully of country people that don't eat lamb or anything exotic and may be a little picky. Oh well. I may also make some sourdough bread for tasting, or buy some Ezekial bread, just to have a variety.
My goal was to use only foods mentioned in the Bible, and make it more into a Biblical feast. I'm still trying to think of something as entertainment, or something non-food related.
I am contemplating draping fabric from the ceiling to resemble a tent. I will have many candles and possibly some kerosen lanterns, or Christmas lights. Large green plants, some flowers, wood or stoneware serving dishes, and the music from Ben-Hur. (I love it)
I want it to have a certain feel to it without going overboard and making things more stressful.
I have about 5 weeks to do all this, and we have a vacation, doctor appointments, and two girls starting school mixed into it all. Not to mention continuing with Leiah's therapy twice a week. I also planned to start sewing some school clothes. So, can I do it all? We may be having very simple meals and bare bones housecleaning for awhile (remember my dryer is still dead so life revolves around the weather) But, I feel it is the right timing, and God will help me. And any ideas or suggestions are certainly welcome. Feel free to comment.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Phillippians 4:13