On Monday night we attended our first seder of this Passover season in Euless, TX at Metroplex Messianic Fellowship www.metroplexmessianic.org. Metroplex Messianic Fellowship is a Torah Observant, Messiah Centered messianic congregation of about 75 people led by Rabbi Moshe (Marty) Cohen. This was our second year in a row to attend the Metroplex seder. This is a very well put together, laid back and enjoyable seder and is especially good for introducing someone to a Passover Seder who is unfamiliar with its themes. Rabbi Marty has been leading Passover Seder’s for 25 years and has conducted over 300 of them throughout the US. It is evident that Rabbi Marty has a gift in this area as he brings a very charismatic filled with Jewish humor approach to the evening. The room was set with round tables covered in white linens with water and wine (grape juice was provided as the fruit of the vine, unless you brought your own-we did :-)) glasses set along with the plates of Matzah, Karpas, Maror and Haroset for each individual. Dinner served was a Greek Salad, Matzah Ball Soup, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Chicken with Gravy (this meal was excellent and the catering team did a great job) accompanied by a tea station. There were probably about 200 people in attendance at this seder. The evening begin with a prayer by Rabbi Marty and then a 4-5 song set by Messianic Worship Artist Ted Pearce www.tedpearce.com that got everyone in a celebratory mood. It was announced that Ted and Rabbi Marty have been ministering at Passover Seder’s together for 19 years and it is such a blessing to have someone of Ted’s talent providing the soundtrack to the evening. After the initial song set the room was divided into two sections to begin the dinner lines, though not traditional (most would begin dinner after the second cup), this is something that really flows well at this seder. There’s more than enough food and you eat before the teaching and telling portion of the seder begins so your mind isn’t being controlled by your belly. During dinner, Ted continued to perform an additional 4-5 songs that begin to really build the anticipation for the telling of the Passover story. At 7:45 the teaching portion of the seder began and lasted until around 9:45. Though this Seder is not the most traditional in text or historical in details, it is wildly enjoyable and entertaining indeed! The only negative to the night was that it seemed the air conditioning wasn’t set properly for the room as there were many people breaking a sweat bead or two and fanning themselves throughout the night. Here are some of the quotes and bits of info that I can remember from memory:
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” An introduction to the Haggadah and fulfilling the commandment to tell the next generation.
Rabbi Marty asked the room to raise their hand if it was anyone’s first seder – about a third of the room from my vantage point, Praise God! Rabbi Marty really challenged us as both Jew’s and non-Jew’s to share and live Messiah in a way that would provoke Jew’s to jealousy a la Romans 11.
“For many years the Passover Seder was conducted orally, but each year after the four cups of wine, the participants didn’t remember this year’s seder being like last year’s seder” On why the seder had to be written down.
” I understand now why Christian mother’s don’t like Jewish mother’s….Jewish mother’s invented Spring cleaning” Talking about the process of removing the leaven from the house.
“After Moshe left Egypt, he did what every Jewish man has been doing for centuries…..he married a gentile bride and started working for her father”
Rabbi Marty believes it is possible that the disciples families were in the same room as Yeshua but at different tables due to the high priority of this being a family meal.
Rabbi Marty stated that the numerical value of Chai which means “life” in Hebrew is 18. 18 is also the number of minutes determined for the process to make unleavened bread, which was the bread of affliction that became the bread of life for Israel coming out of Egypt.
I pray that God continues to bless Rabbi Marty, Ted, and the whole congregation of Metroplex Messianic Fellowship and I thank them and all who had a part in putting together such a wonderful seder and start to this festival season. Amen.
On Tuesday night we attended our second Passover Seder in Denton, TX at Heritage Messianic Fellowship www.heritagedfw.com. My brother Brandon has been going to school at North Texas University in Denton and had come across this congregation last year. Denton is a very artsy and eccentric college town and Heritage is a small messianic congregation with a heart for Israel and the Jewish people along with a passion for raising up disciples of Yeshua in college ministry. This seder was special in that we had a lot of family and close friends that were able to attend with us and it was such a blessing to see their faces and have their fellowship. The seder was led by Pastor Mark who is the lead teaching and preaching pastor at Heritage and though this seder was about half the size (100 people) of the one we attended on Monday, due to the size and warm setting of the room this seder had a very welcoming and intimate feel. The seder began at 7pm and ended about 10pm. The flow of the evening went well as we recited the traditional blessings and texts along with many unique insights and parallels to Yeshua that I hadn’t heard taught before at a seder. After the second cup we were served a magnificent mediterranean meal consisting of a Greek salad, roasted vegetables, humus, chicken, beef and lamb. Throughout the evening and especially during the meal we were treated to a classical violinist (I don’t remember his name? I should he was amazing!) who played traditional Jewish folk songs and many Fiddler on the Roof number’s that got many on their feet and dancing around the room. I couldn’t believe how fast the night had went when we came to the fourth cup of wine and said the final blessing’s of the meal. I am always left longing for more of the sights, sounds and tastes of this blessed festival. One day soon and may it be next year in Jerusalem!
Each year at Passover I come away with new and renewed insights about the Grace of God, His Redemption, Slavery, Freedom and what it all means to us as a people of God and myself individually to have been purchased with such a costly price and to walk out our salvation collectively and individually in a manner worthy of His calling. Halleluyah for Messiah Yeshua!