Of Earthquakes, Passover, and Good Friday

I awoke on April 18th about 4am with nature calling. Ignoring it, I went back to sleep. At exactly 4:36am I woke up again, feeling shaky. Wondering if I was hungry and needing to eat something, I tried to ignore it.

But the shaking continued.

Soon I thought to myself, “maybe a great wind is blowing and shaking the house,” but since I could hear the crickets chirping outside, I knew that there wasn’t a thunderstorm. Vague half-asleep thoughts about the possibility of an earthquake drifted through my addled brain, and then my wife leaned over and said, “Is this an earthquake?”

So there it was! My first earthquake! And I was very glad that my wife woke up and confirmed it or I would have thought I had dreamt it. Of course, she can boast that this is her second earthquake, having experienced the one in 1968!

Well here is the odd thing. We are Christians who appreciate the Jewish traditions, and as part of that, we enjoy celebrating a Christian Passover Seder each year. Since we began this amazing tradition, the problem has been when to celebrate it. Do we follow the Christian calendar and celebrate it prior to Resurrection Sunday (the other name of which I try not to use), or do we follow the Jewish calendar?

From a practical basis, we have tended to follow the Christian schedule, replacing the modern celebration with Passover. This year, however, we had too much going on around Easter, and so decided to celebrate Passover using the Jewish calendar. That means this weekend! So for us, this year, we had two “Good Fridays”—yesterday being one of them.

And so last night found us watching the movie “The Passion Of The Christ”, and when it came to the part of Jesus’ death on the cross, the earthquake came. The movie depicted the temple splitting down the middle. I don’t know if that is Biblical or not. The Gospels are silent on where the earthquake damage occurred, but we do know the earthquake broke the ground and tore in two the Temple Curtain separating the main part of the Temple from the Holy of Holies—so it is possibly Biblical.

So … this means that the earthquake here in the Midwest occurred on Good Friday according to the Jewish calendar. I don’t think we would have connected the two if we had not decided to delay our Passover celebration.

Let’s just say that God is in control—even when everything around us is shaking!

If you remember, please pray for those that are still recovering from the damage, and also pray for those that need the loving, saving, healing, forgiving message of the cross of Christ.

Also, please see my two disclaimers regarding what I have written here at my post written the next day: “A Bit Of Humble Pie“.