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Endnotes

 

Christ Our Passover 2002

A historic gathering occurred on March 26, 2002 when the Christian community responded overwhelmingly to the annual “Christ Our Passover” celebration in Huntsville Alabama. Over 1,200 people participated in the North Hall of the Von Braun Civic Center as Paul Wilbur led in praise and worship and demonstrated Christ in the Jewish Passover seder. Dr. Marvin Wilson, who was a contributing editor to the NIV version of scripture and a leader in Christian-Jewish relations, said, “the Christian Passover Seder conducted by Awareness Ministries in Huntsville Alabama is to my knowledge the largest, trans-denominational event of it's kind.” Paul Wilbur of Hosanna Integrity Music who has made the Seder presentation all over the world said, “This is the largest ecumenical audience before whom I have presented the Christ in the Passover demonstration.” As the body of Christ begins to unite under the headship of the Lord Jesus and worship Him according to His order and ways, we believe Passover will become a more common Christian celebration bringing unity to the Lord's body in other cities as well.
All of the pastors and congregations who participated under the banner “Let there be no strife, for we are brethren” are appreciated for their efforts to bring harmony and unity to the body of Christ in Huntsville. Some of the supporting local ministry included: Annas Aytch, Frank Broyles, Mike Clardy, Greg DeVries, Bobby Gordon, Marvin Green, Bob Guay, Jim Hall, John Herndon, Rick Hobbs, Paul Jablonowski, Paul Lawler, Steve Lacy, Dick Lessmann, Mark Maddox, Jack Matthews, W.O McCain, Kieth Miller, Kenny Mitchell, Rusty Nelson, James Robinson, Clyde Roston, Carol Simon, Greg Simon, Robert S. Somerville, Kerry Sybold, David Thew, and Doug Wever.

Passover THEME: Demonstrating Discipleship -- “Let there be no strife... For we are brethren” -- Abraham

Eating together is the universal gesture of love and acceptance in every culture. The Kingdom of God is no exception. Through the blood of Christ we are one. Sitting together at the table of the Lord demonstrates this common-union and oneness. It was at the event of our Lord's Passover supper and the washing of the disciples feet that Jesus made this profound statement: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). True discipleship is demonstrated by our love being expressed in practical ways.

“Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast.”
1 Corinthians 5:7-8



Christ Our Passover 2003
Unity Banquet & Seder Demonstration

Over 1,500 people gathered in the Huntsville Alabama Von Braun Civic Center on April 15th 2003 to celebrate the annual "Christ Our Passover" unity banquet and seder demonstration. This free dinner banquet was sponsored by over 40 local churches and all of the major denominations in Huntsville were represented. Since Jesus chose His last seder meal (the last supper) to wash His disciples feet, we also chose this time to demonstrate the humility of Christ by having a few leaders serve as examples by washing one another's feet. Pictured on the left is pastor Paul Lawler from Chase Valley United Methodist Church washing the feet of pastor Oscar Montgomery from Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church. They, along with other leaders, washed each others feet as a symbol of the humility of Christ which he performed towards His disciples during His last Passover meal. It was at the event of our Lord's Passover supper and the washing of the disciples feet that Jesus made this profound statement - “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (St. John 13:35). While the foot washing was taking place, four ladies from the Covenant Dance team (Linda Marshall, Lezlie Kramer, Sylvia DeVine, and Natalie Jennkins - pictured below) performed a dance of humility to the Michael Card song entitled "The Basin and the Towel."

Throughout this family reunion, the banner on stage read "Let there be no strife... for we are brethren - Genesis 13:8." Family is family no matter how scattered abroad they may become, and although we can choose our friends, we cannot choose our relatives. In Christ Jesus we are all family no matter how diverse or different we may be. Reunion simply means to unite-again, and the Christ Our Passover provides a platform to demonstrate this unity in Christ as scripture calls for this corporate expression of the total family unit three times per year on Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-19). The Christ Our Passover celebration, by design, is a festival to celebrate the common-unity of God's people in the greater Huntsville area because of our shared "blood-line" through the Messiah Jesus (Yahshua). This is specifically why the apostle Paul calls the feast of Passover a "common-union" (1 Cor. 10:16). Each participant was encouraged to "cross-pollinate" with other believers from a different stream of the body of Christ.

This years event was well covered by the local media in television, newspaper and radio. Amy George with channel 19 news conducted interviews with both Paul Wilbur and Robert Somerville, and the Huntsville Times ran a full page section of the local Passover events which included a full color picture of the three shofar horn blowers. "Let the Walls Fall Down!" was the cry of Robert Somerville as he shared a brief introduction about the event and his heart for reconciliation among the church in Huntsville and the restoration of God's order in His celebration feasts.

The pictures above and below were taken at this years event courtesy of Bob Dafney who is a freelance photographer for the Huntsville Times.


 

Christ Our Passover 2004
Unity Banquet & Seder Demonstration

On April 6, 2004, seven shofar blowers (pictured here) commenced the annual Christ Our Passover unity banquet and seder demonstration in Huntsville Alabama. These trumpeters, from a variety of different cultures and Christian backgrounds within the Huntsville community, represent the priests of the Lord who blew on their shofars to bring down the walls of division and strife in the body of Christ. After they sounded, the entire congregation shouted, "Let the Walls Fall!" The command to celebrate the Lord's feast of Passover comes from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 which says, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast." Leviticus 23 and Exodus 23 also explain the seven major feasts of the Lord, which are designated in the scriptures by God to bring honor to Him and unity among His people.

This year's celebration included about 3,000 people from every major Christian denomination in Huntsville Alabama. The Von Bron Center (VBC) set a facility record for feeding this many people at one time in the South Hall. They had to order extra silverware just to accommodate us, but yet they still welcomed us back next year! For the past three years, the Lord's feast of Passover has been celebrated at the Huntsville VBC during holy week, and each year it has helped Christians unite with the focus on the blood of the Passover Lamb - Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Christ we are one, and eating together is the universal gesture of love and acceptance in every culture. The Kingdom of God is no exception, and sitting together at the table of the Lord demonstrates this common-union and oneness. This is specifically why the apostle Paul calls the feast of Passover a "common-union" (1 Cor. 10:16).

Another demonstration of unity was portrayed when 12 young people from a variety of different cultures and congregations stood at a communion table on stage representing the 12 stones that Joshua took from the Jordan when he crossed over to the promised land, and set up a memorial to the Lord. Robert Somerville encouraged the congregation in the Hebrew seder demonstration that Christ is our Passover Lamb. Since Christ died on Passover, this day has special communion significance. Brotherhood and deliverance are key themes every year at the "Christ Our Passover."


 

Christ Our Passover 2005

Once again the church of Huntsville and the surrounding communities came together to celebrate the Lord's Passover feast. This was the fourth year in the Von Braun Center and as many commented "the celebration is more meaningful each year". The theme of the Passover evening "Covenant Relationships-UNITY Through the Blood of the Lamb". Approximately 1100 purchased tickets for this year's celebration in the North Hall.

Although there were many similarities to past Passover celebrations, this year there were some significant changes to the evening's events. The program for the evening began with the blowing of the shofar and a wonderful procession of banners displaying the word of God, flags of many nations, and dancers (young and old) representing the diversity of the members of the body of Christ.

This year "breakfast was served" as the evening meal and as always the meal was delicious and enjoyed by all. A major reason for modifying the meal from previous events was to reduce the expenses of the celebration in order to make a love offering to the city of Huntsville. God instructed His people to be a blessing to the city wherever they sojourned. Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer was contacted regarding the greatest needs in our community. The evening's offering (~$11,000) was dedicated to the Huntsville Police Department for the purchase of safety equipment - additional bullet proof vests for those officers who are willing to lay down their lives for us every day in the course of their duty. God's Word tells us in Romans 13:4 that civil authorities are "God's servants to do you good" and this evening we were privileged to acknowledge that authority vested in our special guests from the Police Department.

Another significant part of the celebration was the video shown on the history of the city of Huntsville (celebrating its 200th anniversary as a city in 2005) and the spiritual calling perceived for the city as part of the kingdom of God in the earth. It was powerful!!!

Special music was provided by local ministries throughout the evening. Ron Childers opened with the Lord's Prayer, Lattilia Baroness Von Ledersteger- Falkenegg sang Amazing Grace, and pastor Greg Simon and his worship team led the congregational singing for the evening.

This year as pastor Robert Somerville described the Seder meal and celebrated communion with the attendees there was a special anointing of his words and the people regarding our being "one loaf of bread" as a community of believers. Multiple races, multiple denominations, young and old, male and female, and multiple leaders rejoiced in that message March 22, 2005. Let's us pray that the Holy Spirit will keep the theme of Passover in our hearts throughout the year.

If you missed Passover this year due to any reason please put April 11, 2006 on your calendar and plan to bring your gifts and celebrate Passover again next year at the Von Braun Center in North Hall.


Other Huntsville Alabama Christ our Passover Articles by Robert Somrville and Paul Jablonowski:
The Door to Christian Unity

Three Times a Year in One Accord

 

Feasts of the Lord chapter Table of Contents
Endnotes