#blogExodus 11: Celebrate
March 31, 2015
Spring is an easy time for me to celebrate. I love the longer days which are beginning to come. I love the promise of tender living green -- for now just a promise, since it's still too cold here anything to grow outside, but I know it's coming.
I love Pesach, with its reminder that liberation is here in every moment; its opportunity to gather with loved ones around a shared table; its instruction to share our bounty, both practical and spiritual, with those who hunger and thirst.
Seder is a celebration. A celebration that we're still here, still telling our ancestral story of freedom. A celebration of family and friendship and connection. (And I know that I'm blessed to have family and friends around my seder table.)
Seder is a celebration of the narrative that holds us together. Once we were slaves and now we are free. We cried out to God from the Narrow Place, and God responded to us with expansiveness. Seder is a celebration because the work of creating liberation is infinite, but that's no reason not to pause and give thanks for how far we've come before we rededicating ourselves to continuing.
One of my favorite teachings in my haggadah is that if we wait until we feel fully ready, we might never leap at all. But the same holds true for celebration. If we wait until the work is complete, until everyone is free both physically and spiritually, until creation is redeemed, we might never get to celebrate. The rhythm of our liturgical year teaches us to pause and celebrate -- every week; every month; at every festival. The soul needs to celebrate, to feel and articulate gratitude and joy.
"This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (That's Psalm 118:24.) This -- right here; right now -- is the day which God is making. God is telling every atom in the universe to exist, to be, right here, right now. This is the day -- not some other day you're looking forward to, not some other day you're dreading, but this day right now. God is making this day. It's our job to find a way to celebrate: not what was, not what we hope might someday be, but what is, right here, right now.
Sometimes we don't feel like celebrating. Sometimes our bodies aren't up to it. Sometimes our hearts or our spirits aren't up to it. Sometimes celebration seems impossible. But Pesach invites us to discern how we may come to feel liberated, even if we are still living within constraints. How we may feel released from slavery, even if we are still struggling with loss or with grief. How we may be able to celebrate what we have, even if it is not everything we might wish for.
This post is part of #blogExodus, a daily carnival of posts / tweets / status updates relating to themes of Passover and Exodus, created by ImaBima. Find other posts via the #blogExodus hashtag.