Mark 14:16

So the disciples set out and went into the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

how strangely our hearts burned
in a city’s wilderness
to find a winding path
leading to a quiet place

here we can relax
let our guard down
routine settles in
wildness tamed

poustinia safe
we look on chaos
from afar
under light

There is more than one way to do most things. Even though we have heard this is a remembrance of Passover, we are uncertain as to whether it is intended to be an Egyptian Passover, a Roman Passover, or a Changed Heart Passover.

Are they preparing bitter herbs and unleavened bread as well as slaughtering a lamb in anticipation of a leaving of Egypt? Are the elements related to the realities of Roman occupation and this time it will be the Romans who leave (a Zealot’s dream come true)? Is this a more universal liberation that reduces the symbols to bread and wine that will be for every next liberation, including freeing people from the limitation of literalizing the stories of Jesus?

When two were sent for a colt, we heard all the details of their preparations. Here, two either did the preparations or supervised them. It is this vagueness that opens questions about the reversal of the lamb destroying first-borns and an escape to a saving of lambs through a partnership of belovedness that leads to living as though one were already free and rising beyond the consequence of such freedom within a system of constraints.

If Passover is redefinable beyond release from slavery in a foreign land we may find ourselves tracking in the realm of René Girard and his reflections on kenosis (self-emptying) and scapegoats. Rather than eating a Passover Lamb, Jesus identifies as a scapegoat loaded down with all blasphemies and sent into the wilderness of death.

Admittedly, some traditions of the church which grew from a Jesus-seed makes this a difficult shift to make. We are so used to a bloody sacrifice done for us that we can no longer ritualize multiplied errors away. We need to partner anew with a scapegoat in the wilderness to be able to rise beyond unjust acts to changed hearts.

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