Since I was a child, my family has hosted a Passover Seder. The Passover Seder is a meal to celebrate and remember God’s mercy on the Jewish people when he delivered us from slavery under the Egyptians.
“Dayenu” (Hebrew: דַּיֵּנוּ) is a word of special significance during the Passover Seder. It roughly translates to “It would have been sufficient.”
We proclaim “Dayenu!” during one of my favorite parts of the Seder. As we recount all of the ways God abundantly blessed the Jewish people as he freed them from enslavement, we cry out “Dayenu!”
It would have been sufficient Lord for you to have parted the Red Sea, but you destroyed our enemies!
It would have been sufficient Lord for you to have freed us, but you gave us the Sabbath and the Law!
It would have been sufficient Lord for you to have fed us in the desert, but you gave us manna!
As I write this note, the smell of matzo ball soup is filling the air of my house, and we’re preparing for our Seder. Like everything right now though, this year’s Seder is different, and is taking on a new meaning for me.
To be certain, in many ways, Passover was made for coronavirus quarantine. We’re called to recline in our homes, wash our hands a number of times during the meal, and you even have four glasses of wine (or grape juice) throughout the meal.
But I’ve never known a Seder before where we’re staying at home in part because of a government order and because a virus is sweeping across the globe. And normally you’re gathering with friends and family. This year, just family.
As I’ve been praying through and prepping for Passover, three thoughts have come to mind during these uncertain times:
God’s love overflows with grace and mercy. Even in crisis and pandemic, through God’s Holy Spirit he’s blessed us with a confidence and assurance that is greater than sufficient, but is abundant. Just as God gave the Jewish people above and beyond what they could have hoped for, His Holy spirit and eternal promises are providing for us graciously.
God hears our cries. The Exodus story begins with God hearing the cries of the Jews, and responding. God is not distant. Throughout history – and throughout my lifetime – I can see where God has responded to earnest prayers for relief. Let’s not neglect to turn to him.
All of creation is under God’s authority. The Hebrews were under enslavement for 400 years. Freedom was a concept lost for generations. Yet our Omnipresent God – Lord of heaven and earth – did the impossible. We are home today under orders, facing a virus that is unlike any other. We can’t lose faith that God will deliver us once again.
Be encouraged – God is on the throne through the good and the bad. And His Spirit of Peace is more than sufficient.
Aaron Baer is the President of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), Ohio’s Family Policy Council.
Aaron has a background working in startup technology and for one of the nation’s premier family policy councils, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP). Following his tenure at CAP, Aaron served as policy advisor in the Executive Office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
A Warren, Ohio native, Aaron met his wife Maria at Ohio University where they both graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Along with their two daughters, they live in Columbus, Ohio.