For those of you who didn't know, Passover--a Jewish holiday that celebrates the exodus of Jewish slaves from the land of Egypt many thousands of years ago (for the full story read Exodus in the bible)--started on Wednesday night (April 12).
Passover is my favorite holiday. It's a time when my extended family gets together and enjoy each others company. We eat god food, drink not so good wine (Manischewitz) and tell the same stories and read the same prayers (as is the tradition).
Recently I have been reading about churches and Christian groups starting to have seders (the traditional meal) as well. I think that this could be a fantastic thing because the basic message of Passover is to remember the importance of freedom not only for our ancestors but for ourselves and for all human beings (and this is a good exercise in thought and hopefully in action for anyone). Many people make parallels to modern atrocities such as the current genocide in Darfur.
What bothers me about many of these Christian seders is the incorporation of Jesus as a main character of importance in the story. In one sense, co-opting another people's tradition and changing it to fit your own beliefs is the fabric of modern religion. It has been happening for thousands of years (who can't see the Pagan roots in Easter and Sukkot?) and will continue to happen. And it is not my place to judge. But it reminds me of the Messianic Jews (also known as Jews for Jesus) who incorporated Jewish ritual (like prayers, wearing a tallit, etc) into their practices in order to convince Jews that believing Jesus is the messiah and the son of God is as Jewish as lighting shabbat candles and keeping kosher. And it changes the message of the exodus: God (and only God) brought the Jews out of Egypt. Moses might have led them out, but he only did so as God's messenger and with God's help and blessing. Many Jews do believe that one day a messiah will come, but the story of Passover is not about the messiah coming. It is supposed to be about faith in one God and the importance of escaping slavery (in all its forms) and valuing freedom.
These are my thoughts. Please comment, I welcome others.