Passover starts Monday with a blood-red moon.
But more on that later.
As Passover — a Jewish holiday that celebrates Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt — kicks off Monday at sunset, it’s a reminder about what the religious celebration means to society.
Faith Street said Passover is a nod to how the impossible becomes possible as it shows believers how sacrificing and listening to God’s will can yield positive results.
“The Bible offered a blueprint for a master narrative of freedom from oppression that has been mimicked and re-enacted throughout history, from the American Revolution to other liberation theologies,” wrote Erica Brown for Faith Street. “It is one that we relive every time we fight social injustice through our personal commitments. It reminds us, even at our darkest moments, to dwell in sacred possibility.”
But is Passover only for Jews?
The Atlantic reported on Monday that people from multiple faiths are finding ways to celebrate the holiday. Restaurants will often offer Passover-inspired meals to inspire believers to find a connection to the days of exodus, wrote Lauren Davidson of The Atlantic.
“What is it about Passover that speaks to non-Jews and entices them to participate in what is, at least in its traditional format, a multi-hour Hebrew service over a meal with no bread?”
It might be because it is an invitation to a free meal, or an invite to be a part of an experience, Davidson wrote. “But for many, the allure of Passover stretches beyond a curiosity ticket to a Jewish ritual,” Davidson wrote. “The seder itself and the themes it explores have a way of resonating outside the boundaries of the tribe.” Passover has even had connections to baseball, as noted by Newsday.
To help the non-Jewish believers understand Passover, The Huffington Post published the basics of the holiday, including an interactive graphic about the seder meal.
So, going back, what about this blood-red moon?
The moon’s color will be an effect of the lunar eclipse starting tonight as the Earth aligns between the moon and the sun, causing the moon’s color to brighten with a blood-red hue. Some Christian pastors have noted this as the end of the world. USA Today reported that televangelist pastor John Hagee sees this eclipse as the end times.
How does this connect to Passover? Well, Jewish holidays, after all, are based on the lunar calendar, so there’s that.
But “there is nothing extraordinary about these holy days coinciding with a full moon. But that hasn’t stopped some well-known Christians from drawing supernatural connections," wrote Kenneth L. Waters Sr. for CNN.
Prophecies and predictions about the end of the world have come often in the last decade. But Waters said religious folks, especially Christians, should look for something else instead of the end times.
“Instead of looking to the heavens for signs of the future, Christians should focus on the hope and promise of the Gospel message and seek to reflect Christ in word and deed,” Waters wrote. “And especially as we enter Holy Week and anticipate Easter, may each of us look within our own hearts for those shadows that keep us from enjoying the fullness of relationship with the Creator of the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company