I Got Rhythm.
On Monday evening met with a small group of friends for Passover. Over the last few years have met on and off with this group to celebrate, pray, eat, talk, share etc. at the time of the feasts of the Lord. Not that I want to be religious about it or force everyone to do it or judge those that don’t do it, I would hate to be involved in anything like that, it is just a sense of connecting with the rhythm of redemption through the year. I do not see them as Jewish marker points or have any desire to become a Messianic Gentile, I find alot of people who go for the Israel thing very over the top and at times a bit freaky and scary, I through them just personally connect with the magic of the shadows that point towards Christ and the shadows that speak of the things that are still to come. I told you I am a shadow dweller. Rhythm generally means a “movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.” Rhythm is the timing of events on a human scale; of musical sounds and silences, of the steps of a dance, or the meter of spoken language and poetry. God seems to like a sense a rhythm. Not one that becomes repetitive and never changing, but one that always has a sense of ebb and flow, of tempo changes and times of stillness. Yet always behind the rhythm is something bigger. Something eternal. A story that spans the ages, at times appears hidden, but is always there in the background when not in full view. The Celtic saints walked with the rhythm of the feasts. They were the last to yield to a new rhythm introduced to counteract this rhythm, by accepting Easter as a replacement for Passover. Patrick, David and many of their time loved the rhythm of grace and redemption. Monday was the most nonreligious gathering I can hope for. There is no name for the group, no leader, we pray, we share the Word, we talk, we laugh alot, kids are free to play and run around and become part of the discussions that are not always about God, no one tells anyone how to live their lives outside the group or even whether they should or shouldn’t be at another gathering. This group is precious. We belong to each other and yet belong to nothing. Beating out a rhythm, a shape, a present and a future. Baby I have rhythm.
The Scarlet Thread.
I enjoyed looking beyond tha actual Passover events of the days of Moses to see the passover rhythm always there in Scripture, the scarlet thread.
“In the scarlet thread we discover a deeper magic.” C.S. Lewis (The Magicians Nephew)
For me the great cover up, the passover, begins in the Genesis account. Adam and Eve have incredible freedom but there is one tree they should not eat from, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As we all know the intrigue of the tree got the better of Adam and Eve, they partook of the tree and their eyes were opened to shame and guilt, so when God next walked in the garden, a walk they recognized, they hid in their nakedness. When God found them in their shame and full of blame and excuses for someone else who made them do it God could have dealt with them with death. There was a death, a passover, a rhythm of redemption. An animal was slain, blood was shed and a covering made for the shame and nakedness to be covered. The scarlet thread had begun. The thread is seen when Abraham lays Isaac on the altar (no I do not understand that either) and God provides a ram in the thicket to take Isaac’s place. A passover was provided. The scarlet thread is seen when Tamar is about to give birth to twins Zerah and Peres. Impregnated in a dubious moment of shame, Zerah is the first to push a hand through to the outside world and Tamar has the midwife tie a scarlet thread to his arm to signify the firstborn, before this little tinker pulls his arm back inside her and his brother is born. Through the blood of birth and through the thread this woman and her son become part of the lineage towards Christ Himself. Her shame is covered up with glory and redemption. Rahab a harlot is spared the destruction of the city of Jericho after she puts a scarlet thread outside her window. As the city falls there is a story of passover, a place of redemption. Barabbas awaits his certain death of crucifixion. Even after he is called out to the crowd for them to chose between himself and Jesus because it is Passover and according to custom someone can be set free, he must have been expecting the worse, after all he was a criminal, this Jesus well no accusation was sticking to Him. Barabbas experienced passover on Passover as the crowd called for him to be released and Jesus to be crucified. The rhythm of redemption played out right before the Rhythm of Redemption for all is played out. Jesus the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world. Christ our Passover shedding His blood once for all time. We are now walking examples of the reality of the rhythm of redemption. Set free through the blood of the Lamb. Our lives in Him continue to play out a miraculous scarlet threaded rhythm. Like the walls of Jericho falling down around us and us walking free, that is now the experience of judgement. We may be of dubious character, be eaters of the forbidden, be outside the plans of man and abused by him, but we are part of the great passover.
Restoration of Worship and Passover Synonymous.
There is a new sound already here. There is a new sound to come. It will be a sound that will eclipse Hillsongs and delirious? and Kevin Prosch and Jesus Culture, it will be the song of the redeemed. A song of freedom for the banished. A song of release for those who are bound. Harps will be taken back off of the poplar trees and the Lord’s song will be sung in strange lands by the rivers of Babylon. Can you already hear it? I have always been fascinated by the restoration events in the Old Testament, times when Kings and Prophets and Priests would restore the community back to a path where God is at the centre.Times of sorting out the stuff. Josiah, Hezekiah, Ezra, the Prophets that declared the rebuilding of the walls. I find it interesting that as they encouraged restoration one of the first things that was reinstated was the rhythm of Passover and the feasts of the Lord. They seemed to be synonymous. So much so that it is hard to decide whether restoring Passover revived the worship, or the revived worship restored the Passover. Whatever these times released an incredible new sound of redemption in these communities, not just looking back but looking forward to the redemption of all things. A new sound is about to be unleashed upon the earth. The sound of the scarlet thread in effect in peoples lives. I am in no way saying ‘though shalt mark off the passover again’ because I know it is now a lifestyle, a daily experience, every day I live the reality of what the cross has done for me. It is just for my part of the mirror in which I see dimly I want to find that rhythm, the rhythm of redemption that God released into the earth all those years ago and for me personally it just helps to rhythm out the passover itself, rather than an earthly festival we now call Easter. If your rhythm is different that is great too, because we are all finding Jesus in the rhythm of our own walks. A rhythm of redemption that will release a new sound.