For awhile now, I've thought that Christians could legitimately celebrate events associated with the Old Testament. I mean, it's the first half of the Bible, right? Christ, through Joseph, is a direct descendent of some of the major playas in Judaism, correct? And Jesus was a Jew, yes? So it seemed logical to me that Christians could participate in Hanukkah, Passover, etc.
Here's the thing, though. Folks need to celebrate these miracles, these deliverences, with a deep and abiding understanding of their meaning. I mean, these are not secularized traditions in the Jewish culture, like Christmas trees are in Christian culture. Sure, I could whip up a Seder (hey, I was always in charge of the matzo ball soup at Jess'), invite some pals over, and imbibe some Manischewitz. But after having attended a coupla Seders in college, I know that there's more to it than that. It'd be like non-Christians grabbing an Advent calendar and gobbling up the goodies without paying attention to the messages.
And making Christ the central focus of predominantly Jewish traditions, as described in the WaPo article, seems wrong. My limited exposure to Passover celebrations left me with the feeling that the gathering is supposed to be a remembrance of shared miseries and the wholesale deliverence from them by God. But to spin it into a metaphor for what Christ endured pulls the focus away from the people who endured centuries of slavery and abuse.
Clearly, I need to ponder this some more. And I swear, I'm not looking to add eight days of gifts or a rich meal to my calendar.