The Last Supper?
On Sunday Gloria sent me a message: “Hi Alisa, would it be OK to celebrate the Seder at your place on Thursday evening? It would be about ten people.” Of course I said yes. My part was very simple: plastic cups (enough for four each), plastic plates, and utensils. And matzo, three boxes of matzo. Oh yes, and providing table and chairs for everyone.
No, for me the problem was making the living room presentable. Since I had returned from the US (about a month ago), the living room looks like my suitcase vomited its contents all over every flat surface—not only in the living room, but the living room had gotten the worst of it. Of course I had intended to get things picked up before this, but I’ve been busy. Now I had to do it, no putting it off any longer. Inspired by a sermon I had heard from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, I asked God for the anointing to get everything ready for the Passover. That prayer was answered, boy! was it answered!
Instead of my usual method: work a while, get distracted by something, go off and do something else, come back and work a while, get distracted again, etc., I cleared things away with purpose and determination. I even cleared away stuff that had been sitting in the living room for years. You see, I use the living room as my office, so I had books and papers and notebooks and diaries and business cards from various people I had met over the years. I hadn’t even thought of trying to clear that stuff away. I think that was the key: I didn’t think about it. If I had thought about it, I would have been paralyzed into inaction by the enormity of the task and the difficulty of reassembling my office afterwards. And the truth is that this morning I found it quite liberating to have my desk (also known as my dining table) completely clear. I didn’t have to go hunt a lot of things down (at least not yet).
Once the living room was cleared away, I went to the street market and got some flowers, among other things. And then to the grocery store and bought a few things. I brought my purchases home and started rearranging furniture. I was concerned because the number had grown to fourteen. I was relieved to find that if I fully extended the dining table and put the kitchen table on the end of it, I could fit fifteen chairs around it, with one chair to spare. Perfect! I had forgotten until just that moment that the Jews always set an extra place at Passover for Elijah because of the prophecy that Elijah will come before the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). Well, Elijah has come and gone (Matthew 17:10-13), so our extra setting will be for Jesus, who is surely returning—and someday soon.
The credenza, which I had cleared of my printer, office supplies, books, and piles of papers, was ready to serve as a buffet. We would need this because the table was going to be very full of other things for the Seder. I put a tablecloth on the table and another on the credenza, and another on the kitchen table. My big tablecloth wasn’t long enough to do the job of two tables.
That’s when I realized that I didn’t have enough espresso cups for a party this size. So I made another trip to the store to pick up other things, too. While I was at the grocery store I got 2 legs of lamb. I wanted to make sure that we didn’t run short. That turned out to be a good idea.
The grocery store didn’t have plastic espresso cups, and I needed coffee pods from the Bialetti store. So I brought my groceries home and put the lamb in the fridge before heading out again, this time to the Bialetti store, bringing Celia with me. Celia has been staying with me while she is looking for an apartment.
At the Bialetti store they said that they didn’t have any plastic coffee cups. But then the saleslady remembered that they sell a convenience pack for the espresso machine that I have, and inside is not only plastic cups, but also sugar, stir sticks, and coffee pods. Plus, it was on sale for ten Euros off. The plastic cups in the convenience pack were not like I had been picturing (vending machine plastic coffee cups), but really cute, good quality plastic cups that could be washed and reused—excellent!
On the way home, we stopped in the card shop so that I could get a receipt book. I didn’t absolutely need one right now, but since we were passing by and the card shop is open, I wanted to stop in and pay a quick visit to Antonella. She is a sweet lady my mom’s age who always loves to stop and chat. I thought it would also be nice for Celia to meet Antonella. Actually, it turned out to be nice for both of them, and for me, too. Antonella has worked alone in the card shop for the past thirty years, so she always appreciates customers, but also a friendly visit.
So I got the receipt book and then we went home to finish up the preparations. I preheated the oven and began cooking the lamb. As it cooked, I set out Soon Gloria arrived, and she sprang into action. Before long the others came, one after another. Pierluigi did what he does best: he started taking pictures and video, and playing with David, the one and only child in attendance (that’s only if you don’t include the children in adult bodies: Pierluigi, and also me).
There were three in attendance that I hadn’t known before, so we set about getting to know each other as the preparations progressed. Then we set the buffet and sat down at the table. I sat by Jesus’ chair, with Celia on His other side. We both agreed that we had the best seats in the house.
Valeria, our one and only Messianic Jew in attendance, proceeded to guide us through the Passover, explaining each item, its significance to the Jews, and the foreshadow it showed of Jesus. There is so much of Jesus in the Passover that it’s incredible that the Jews can’t see it for themselves. But then, they’ve been taught against Jesus all their lives. Valeria had shared her beautiful testimony a couple of weeks ago at the Milan House of Prayer (MiHOP) Prayer for Israel night. I was so glad that Valeria had brought her son, David, because the Passover really needs at least one child. How like God to incorporate something for the children to do for the celebration. Otherwise, we would have had to use the next best thing: Pierluigi.
After the Seder meal was finished, we took turns praying, and each blessed me and my house. I was indeed blessed, and pleased to see how God had worked through me with the anointing to host the Passover Seder. It had taken the anointing to get it done. God is good!
 See also Mark 9:11-13