If I were allowed to have a favorite part of the Passover Seder, it would be the dayenu song.
I know that’s like a Jew saying their favorite part of the Eucharist is the wine. I’m not Jewish, my experience with seders is limited and translated and half the time very, very inauthentic and sacrilegious. I don’t get to have a favorite part of this holy and unique meal. But if I did, it would be the dayenu .
Last week I gathered with some friends to have a mock seder, to remember what Christ would perhaps have done before he went to the cross. I know, the traditions of the modern seder don’t date back to before the cross, we don’t even know that Christ’s last supper was a seder, and we don’t know what a seder would have looked like that long ago.
But regardless of all of those things, this is a song that Christ very nearly sang the night he was betrayed:
If He had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them, it would have been enough!
…If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land, it would have been enough!
If He had taken us through the sea on dry land, and had not drowned our oppressors in it, it would have been enough!
If He had drowned our oppressors in it, and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, it would have been enough!
If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us the manna, it would have been enough!
If He had fed us the manna, and had not given us the Shabbat, it would have been enough!
If He had given us the Shabbat, and had not brought us before Mount Sinai, it would have been enough!
If He had brought us before Mount Sinai, and had not given us the Torah, it would have been enough!
If He had given us the Torah, and had not brought us into the land of Israel, it would have been enough!…
Christ may not have had these exact words to sing at his last meal, but hours later as he prayed in the garden, he knew their heart:
“Farther, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”
The dayenu, the song of “It would have been enough”, it’s a song of utter dependence and trust in God. That His ways are enough, no matter where they lead. That His will is trustworthy, even if it is not what we want. And that He provides abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.
Christ knew, prayed, and believed that even as He went to His death. Even if God did not deliver Him from certain death, it would have been enough.
It was, in fact, enough.
The dayenu celebrates the miracles, the overlooked and mundane miraculous that infests the history of the Israelites.
It is perhaps easy to look at the raging red sea and forget that God has delivered you from the Egyptians and that is enough. To see forty years in the desert and forget the manna.
It is easy to forget that God has provided and to believe that that is enough.
If he led us safely here and did not guide us through the storms to come…
It would have been enough.
Photo by Ricky Romero, via flickr.