On the first day of unleavened bread when they slaughtered the Passover lamb the disciples said to him "Where do you want us to go and arrange for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and told them "Go into the city. You'll be met by a man carrying a water-jug. Follow him. Wherever he goes in tell the owner 'The teacher says, "Where is my guestroom where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?"' He'll show you a big room upstairs all spread and ready. Prepare for us there."
The disciples went out and entered the city and found it as he had told them. Then they prepared the Passover.
- Mark's gospel (note - women usually carried jars, men carried wineskins)
Every Hebrew manchild under two, clubbed, stabbed, killed...
How can I ever again rejoice at Passover,
when other women's babies, innocent of all guile,
were slaughtered by your angel?...
Is this your love, that all these die
that one star-heralded man-child should live?
And what will be his end, O Lord? How will he die?
How will you show this one saved child your love?
- "...And Kill The Passover" by Madeleine L'Engle
(the two disciples)
Lord, where do you want us to go? To prepare the Passover? Lord? Lord?
I bet we called him four or five times before he seemed to hear us. Even then, it was as if he only heard us, not our question.
After almost three years, he knew our habits. And we his. It would take more fingers than I own to count the moments when we'd find him staring into the day. "Staring" is probably a poor description because it truly seemed as if he was looking through the moment into something else or somewhere else; things or places we could not see.
Peter once called him a daydreamer. Peter would say something like that. But I have since believed he was not lost in daydreams, but rather nightmares. Such was the depth of his vision. At least on that particular day, I have since thought that he heard the cries of guile-less children; those so fresh from God. Sons who died so that he might live. Sacrifices made so that his life might be spared. The needs of the many being set aside for the needs of the few. Or in this case, the one.
I have since thought these thoughts because he once told me about it as we sat silently together at noontide. He was looking through time. And then he spoke.
John, I was there.
Where, Lord? What are you talking about? Will you tell me?
When the baby boys were slaughtered at Passover. The sounds of that massacre...John, you have no idea. It is not a tragedy when a man dies at the end of his life. But the death of children is not my will. The death of children is not my will. Ripped from the breasts that nursed them and...their cries haunt my dreams, waking or asleep, like a bell tolling. Always tolling.
You were there? I'm sorry, Lord; I don't fully understand. But, but couldn't you have done something?
He turned to me with lamb-like eyes and spoke through quivering lips.
Beloved one, I did what I could. I was born.