GracePoint students make connections to Passover in Christian religion

GracePoint+student+pastor+Charley+Hellmuth+teaches+GracePoint+youth+about+the+traditional+Jewish+Seder+Meal+during+holy+week%3B+this+was+their+first+time+to+host+the+event.+Photo+by+Jena+Seidemann.+

GracePoint student pastor Charley Hellmuth teaches GracePoint youth about the traditional Jewish Seder Meal during holy week; this was their first time to host the event. Photo by Jena Seidemann.

By Christina Burke
Managing Editor

In place of its usual Wednesday student service, GracePoint Church in Coppell put on a special event in honor of the oldest holiday in the world – Passover. This unique service took place in The Student Center across from GracePoint Church on Wednesday night.

Passover is a time where Jews come together to celebrate the forgiveness and freedom the people of Israel experienced after the 10 plagues experienced in the book of Exodus, but not many Christians are aware of how Passover and Easter are intertwined.

The idea is to walk the church through a traditional Jewish Passover Seder meal. Through the process, the students learn the story behind Passover, and how it is connected to the Christian religion since biblical times.

GracePoint substitutes grape juice for wine, which holds symbolic significance, during their first ever Seder Meal at the Gracepoint student center in Coppell on April 16. The meal was used to educate the youth on Jewish Passover traditions. Photo by Jena Seidemann.
GracePoint substitutes grape juice for wine, which holds symbolic significance, during their first ever Seder Meal at the Gracepoint student center in Coppell on April 16. The meal was used to educate the youth on Jewish Passover traditions. Photo by Jena Seidemann.

“We have a new member of our church that was formerly Jewish,” GracePoint student and family pastor Charley Hellmuth said. “He proposed the idea, and we really liked it as a church. We have actually done this experience church wide.”

Students are taught about how the famous last supper with Jesus and his disciples was a passover meal, and participated in the custom steps for communion while learning the connections between Passover and Easter.

“The inspiration behind [Wednesday night] was we wanted to do something a little different for Holy week,” Hellmuth said. “We wanted to train and educate our students on the rich history behind Jesus’ life.”

Hellmuth is blown away in response to the number of students who express interest in the topic of Passover. One hundred and two students of middle school and high school age were present, about 20 more than the average Wednesday service.

“My hope for what students take away from this experience is that they would have a greater connection between Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah, Old Testament stories of the deliverance and those things and the connection to Jesus that those stories are,” Hellmuth said. “My favorite part was seeing several students have that ‘ah-ha’ moment, in ‘I invited my friends but I also learned a lot myself’ and you could see it on their faces throughout the night.”

Overall, GracePoint accomplished exactly what it set out to: enrich its student’s knowledge of religion in new and innovative ways.

“I used to think there were a lot more differences between Judaism and Christianity, but after sitting through the Passover service tonight, I understand more about how they are are similar,” senior Olivia Brooks said. “I’m glad to have had this opportunity to learn about Passover, and I think it is something all Christians should hear.”