Happy to be Together


Happy to be Togetherby Ben Siegler

Several times a year, when I was little, we'd drive to my grandparent’s house, in Queens, NY, about an hour away. But every year on one of those days the visit was very different. Once a year, everyone I knew who was related to me was there.

As a kid, Passover was a kind of strange experience. Suddenly, my family members were wearing these things on their heads and dipping their fingers in wine and reading some crazy-sounding gobbledygook from a special little book and treating it all very seriously.

What I remember most about those nights, I remember starving. Wading through that endless book and "our people this," "our people that." The only thing I knew, aside from the fact that I would die from starvation, was that Grandpa Joe was the guy in charge and we would not eat a bite until he was done leading us in the Seder.

And when he was done, and after we’d played hide-the-matzah and one of my cousins had won 10 bucks, and the grown-ups had talked about their mysterious grown-up things, we’d kiss our relatives goodbye and pile back into our car, all bloated but happy to be together, happy to have each other.

Jesus, of course, didn’t have it so good at his last Passover. I sometimes think of how lonely he must have felt. The only one who knew the finality, the seriousness of the moment. The only one who knew the food in front of him was the last he would taste.

But, thankfully, we know the story; he’s not lonely anymore. He’s with us every time we have communion. What we’re about to do together, this sharing with each other, he also shares with us--right here, right now. I truly believe he’s standing or sitting beside us, a hand on our shoulders--happy to be together with us, happy we have each other.