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Christ Our Passover

Annual Christian Unity Banquet in Huntsville Alabama

by Robert Somerville & Paul Jablonowski

Eating together is the universal gesture of love and acceptance in every culture. The Kingdom of God is no exception, because through the blood of Christ we are all one. Sitting together at the table of the Lord demonstrates this common-union and oneness. Jesus chose the Hebrew "seder" meal at His last supper to eat with His disciples, and the greater church of Huntsville Alabama has been coming together on a large scale to celebrate this meal for over 20 years! Every year since 2002, an average of 1,400 people have gathered in the local civic center (Von Bron Center) to honor the Lord's Passover.

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.

These Christ our Passover events have been attracting a large number of local ministries, as every major denomination in the area has been supporting this event and participating each year. This broad participation among Christians has always been the goal for these events. Robert Somerville says, "if you cannot bring true Christian unity on a local basis, then it is only a facade of the real unity that Christ died to bring." It was at our Lord's Passover supper when he washed His 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. Pictured on the right is pastor Paul Lawler from Chase Valley United Methodist Church washing the feet of pastor Oscar Montgomery from Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church at the 2002 Christ Our Passover. 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.

Many different demonstrations of unity such as foot washing have been performed at these events, but the main example is the communion meal itself with Jesus' body and blood being represented in the bread and the wine. Since Christ died on Passover, this day has special communion significance. This communion always emphasizes our Covenant Relationships, and UNITY through the Blood of the Lamb. Brotherhood and deliverance are also key themes every year at the Christ Our Passover. Christ died to deliver us and to make us one family! When Israel left Egypt, it did not matter what tribe (church) they belonged to, it only mattered that the blood of the lamb was applied to their doorposts. This Christ our Passover banquet is a traditional menu (not a seder meal), but it always lifts up the blood of Christ which makes us one!

For several years the Christ our Passover event has been well covered by the local media in television, newspaper and radio. In 2003 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!" is a theme that the shofar blowers have always portrayed similar to the walls of Jericho falling in Bible times. Click here to see an ad which was in the local Huntsville Times paper about the Walls of Division Falling Down!

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

Since 2005, the Christ our Passover gathering has been taking up a free-will offering to give towards areas in the city of Huntsville that are in need. God instructed His people to be a blessing to the city wherever they sojourned (Jer. 29:7-8). Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer was contacted several years regarding the greatest needs in our community. In 2005 the evening's ~$11,000 offering 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.

In 2006, the bless the city offering went towards the city Library. In 2007 they blessed the Downtown Rescue Mission which helps to house and feed the homeless in our city. In 2008, the Christ our Passover offering blessed the local Jewish community, and in 2009 they gave to the Green Team to purchase a greenhouse for many of the city clean-up projects that they support. This year, in 2010, the bless the city offering will be donated towards the local Fire Department. The average offering for each of these events is ~$15,000. In all of these endeavors, the main goal is to bless and honor those who serve in our city to make it a great and safe place to live. The money gift is just a token from the Christian community of our support and appreciation for those God has blessed us with in our city.

At each Christ our Passover, the Seder meal is explained and communion with the attendees is served. We are all "one loaf of bread" as a community of believers regardless of race, denomination, age or gender. Whether you are white bread, brown bread or beagle bread, you are welcome to join in the citywide Christ our Passover to honor Jesus as our Passover Lamb! "For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread." (1 Cor. 10:17)

The pictures on this page were taken at Christ our Passover events by Bob Dafney who is a freelance photographer for the Huntsville Times. Click here to see an article the Huntsville Times ran about the 2008 Christ our Passover.

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

Related articles about having citywide unity celebrations: The Door to Christian Unity and Three Times a Year in One Accord and As One Man in Huntsville

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