Merla Watson

In Hebrew, the name for "Jews" is "yehuDEEM". The name for Gentiles is "goYEEM". The name for "Christians" is "notzREEM". Yes, we are "notzrim" - but we are also "geREEM", if we have seen the light as non-Jews concerning the celebrating of the Biblical Festival of Passover. "GERIM" is a Hebrew word for non-Jewish inquirers after the faith of Israel. This group, keepers of the Biblcal Feasts, is described in the 56th chapter of Isaiah, verses 1-8.

Let us bear in mind that when the terms "sons and daughters" are used in the Old Testament, that these refer to the Jewish race; but when the terms "strangers and foreigners" are used, these refer to non-Jewish people, ones who have been grafted into the commonwealth of Israel through the acceptance of the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ - Yeshua HaMashiach. These people are born-again Christians, lovers of Israel, with a strong identification with their Jewish roots. They are preparing for the stressful times ahead by not relying on just the BRANCHES or the BLOSSOMS of our faith to hold us - but the solid ROOTS. In Jewish tradition, Passover has always been a time to have "strangers" or guests come and participate. When we as Christians celebrate Passover, it is not just to find out how the JEWS celebrate Passover, but to honestly and sincerely make this OUR celebration too!

“Thus says the Lord, Keep judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessèd is the man that does this, and the son of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the STRANGER THAT HATH JOINED HIMSELF TO THE LORD speak saying, The Lord has utterly separated me from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree. For thus says the Lord unto the eunuchs that KEEP MY SABBATHS AND CHOOSE THE THINGS THAT PLEASE ME, AND TAKE HOLD OF MY COVENANT; Even unto THEM will I give in My house and within My walls a PLACE AND A NAME BETTER than those of My sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the STRANGER, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the Name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in the house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather OTHERS to Him, besides those that are gathered unto Him” (Isa.56:1-8).

Down through history, there have always been "geREEM"—people, born not racially Jewish, who, having witnessed the power of God upon the Jewish people, decided to throw in their lot with them, trusting in the One, True, Living God! In Hebrew, every letter in every word has a literal and a symbolic meaning which contributes to the meaning of the word. The ancient pre-Babylonian Hebrew used strange looking symbols for letters which painted a picture - quite like the Chinese language. Let's look at the word "geREEM". The Hebrew pictograph - the letters in the word that tell a story - has a description for the singular word "GER". It means "lifted up to the head." That means "geREEM" - the plural of "GER"- are not second-class citizens, but lifted up to the FIRST position WITH the Chosen Ones of God!! "Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God." (Eph.2:19)

Remember the account in scripture of Ruth, who was not born racially Jewish, but who said to Naomi, "YOUR people shall be MY people, and YOUR God MY God." Another example of this point is aptly described by the 2 men chosen to spy out the land of Canaan - Joshua and Caleb. Joshua was fully Jewish. But Caleb's name is really "KEHlev" in Hebrew, which means "dog" - a Biblical symbol for the word "Gentile." A GENTILE was chosen to be one of the 2 people to inherit the land of Canaan!! And in the New Testament, remember the story of Cornelius, who, having frequented the Court of the Gentiles in the Second Temple, became the first Gentile convert. Even the Biblical account of the Israelites' flight from Egypt gives us an example of this.
"And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot, that were men, besides children. And a MIXED MULTITUDE went up ALSO with them." (Ex.12:37,38)

This "mixed multitude" were not all Jews - in other words, there were non-Jews who had joined the Israelites in their flight out of Egypt. They had ALSO put the blood on their doorposts, and their first born were also spared!! These were "geREEM"!

In John 10:16 we read, "And OTHER sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE Shepherd." And to bring this phenomenon up-to-date, there are many people gathered here tonight—a fact that is simultaneously echoed in many countries throughout the world—who are born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, having loved scriptural truth for many years. These people recognize that it has been Satan who has segregated Jews and Christians from each other. We feel that God never intended to have 2 faiths - but His vision WAS and still IS to have ONE household. Although there are issues which are problematic for both houses, we believe God is in the process of healing this breach.

There is a veil of unbelief over the Jewish eyes until the time of the Gentiles is over. But that moment is right at the door. This veil HAD to be put there by God Himself, in order to let you and me into His glorious covenant. But the CHURCH ALSO has a veil of confusion and ignorance over ITS eyes! So little is known about our Jewish roots. Our ministry is trying to be part of the correction of this omission. How God is going to work all this out is known only to Him. Suffice it to say, we are living in intensely prophetic times, when we may even live to see the fulfillment of that ONE household of faith!

This move is not an isolated one, in that it is popping up like crocuses in spring after a long hard winter all over the world. If you have never celebrated Passover before, the fact that your curiosity is aroused enough to read this is another sure sign. Added to this is that many of your brothers and sisters in the Lord – locally and internationally - celebrate ALL the Biblical Feasts in every year - the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Festival of Lights, Purim, the Feast of Passover, and the Feast of Pentecost. These celebrations have become a natural part of our yearly cycle. We are endeavouring to obey the scriptural injunction to "joy with others' joys!"

We sincerely praise God for His deliverance upon the ancient Israelites, so that they would eventually reach Canaan, their promised land, and also for that fabulous miracle of the parting of the Red Sea! THEIR deliverance was a foreshadowing of OUR salvation, and the waters of the Red Sea were a type of baptism. But added to this is that WE ALSO claim these Holy Feasts as OUR inheritance in the Lord.

One reason for doing so, is that if this miracle had never occurred, the Jews would have been obliterated and Yeshua (Jesus) would never have been born, making us a lost people. Yes, we rejoice WITH the Jews at Passover, but we rejoice EVEN MORE in something else...

"But now in Yeshua HaMashiach, we who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Yeshua." (Eph.2:13)

Before all of us came to the Lord, OUR taskmaster was Satan - but now through a miracle, every bit as wonderful as the parting of the Red Sea, (the Red Sea being a symbol of the washing of regeneration), Yeshua has saved us from eternal damnation through His shed blood at Calvary.

Notice that in this next scripture we read together, that Paul was talking to the church at Corinth which were ostensibly NON-JEWS - "geREEM"!!

“For even Yeshua our PASSOVER is sacrificed for us: therefore let us KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth". (1Cor.5:7)

Paul need not have reminded a JEWISH congregation to celebrate the feast, as this was already a part of their lives. He was talking to NON-JEWS! Observe this holy Passover and be blessed!!

(for a congregational observance)

(on another blog on the web site)

Several weeks beforehand, start preparing the congregation spiritually for Passover by setting in motion the following things:
1) prayer (form prayer cells)
2) scriptural background reading and teaching (individual and corporate)
3) pointing out to them that this is not just a Feast for Jews to celebrate, but is for all believers. “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” ( I Cor.5:7,8). Paul was talking to non-Jews. The Jews were already celebrating Passover. All Christians, Jew and non-Jew, celebrated all the Biblical Feasts (Trumpets, Tabernacles, Passover, Pentecost) every year right up until the 4th century when severe persecution arose instigated by the corrupt and anti-Semitic leaders of the church. By celebrating Passover as one of these feasts now, we help to correct this terrible omission to our faith.
4) Tell the congregation that even though they are not Jews celebrating their ancestors' deliverance from Egypt, (even though it is Biblical to rejoice with others' joys) they were sinners under bondage to Satan, and now through the blood of Jesus they are free! That is something to celebrate! Explain to them that Passover is like an annual “New Birth Party” for all believers.
5) Throughout the evening, be careful to point out both the Jewish traditions (see Internet sites) as well as the parallel Christian teachings of each point of the Feast.
6) Photocopy the article about Passover by Robert Somerville on another blog on this web site, or click <> and distribute it to potential folks who are coming.

Yes, by all means - they can come, bearing in mind, however, that they must be chaperoned throughout the entire ceremony before and after dinner (i.e. they must be quiet, and no running around!) There is a very special point in the ceremony in which only the children participate. But no babies unless in nursery, as it's just too disruptive if they fuss.

There should be a prelude of recorded Israeli music for 1/2 hour at 6:00pm before the ceremony starts at 6:30pm. Have your musicians follow this with a prelude of Passover Israeli-type music. Either the pastor or someone who is knowledgeable about the feast should act as the leader to show others how to do it. It's always wonderful, that if you have folks who could be willing to be involved in a procession (dancers or congregants), that they would select articles beforehand pertaining to the Passover story. There is a ceremony called the “haggaDAH” given during the “seder” (pronounced SAY-dayr”) up until the big dinner for about an hour.. This can be interspersed with music Merla Watson has composed especially for the Passover articles on the “seder” plate, or by traditional Hebrew songs, or other worship songs reflecting the articles. There can be lost of congregational proclamations of scripture throughout on overhead transparencies or Power Point. The congregation should be notified ahead of time to not come overly hungry, but snack first at home. After the opening ceremony, the meal lasts about half an hour. The dinner should not have pork, shellfish, or leavened bread or rolls. There is another ceremony of 1/2 hour after the dinner with interspersed music and congregational proclamations ending up with congregational praise and worship.

1) In order to create a Sinai Desert atmosphere, there should be a wrap-around mural of the desert with mountains, sand dunes, and palm trees from ceiling to floor. This is done on large brown paper and water colours, and fastened to the walls. Or you could project on a computer wonderful desert photographs as a background.
2) If the auditorium has any posts, you can make them into palm tree trunks by encircling them with brown cardboard and roughing them up a bit with notches. Then you put green cardboard palm branches on the top, fastening them flush with the ceiling, as well as date clusters. If no posts, you can fashion them. Maybe there are people in the congregation that have desert-like plants, which could also be used, e.g. potted palm trees.
3) If there are any staging cloths available (jumbo yardage) from church productions, you could use a lot of these too. You might borrow some from other churches, or find large remnants from thrift stores. The textiles used should be earthy and rough-textured, so go strong on cottons, either striped or plain, and burlap material. Avoid satin, velvet, and sheers. Avoid garish colours like pink.
4) It would be great to have banners as well, but they MUST fit in with the theme of Passover (the blood of Jesus, Lamb of God, salvation, miracles, deliverance, etc.). Avoid banners with the communion symbols unless the bread is unleavened. Make sure that each banner has a dowel. Figure out ahead of time how you are going to stand them or hang them and where they will go. They CAN be brought in during the procession.
5) Somewhere near the front could be a large carved throne-like chair (maybe even a formal church platform chair). This is symbolic of Elijah who is talked about during the ceremony after the dinner.
6) It is very effective (but not entirely necessary) to locate a small live lamb to be carried in during the procession by a “Levitical Priest”. You can find somebody from the church who either has lambs or know people who do. The lamb would be needed at 6:00 pm sharp in order to prepare, and then could be taken back approximately 6:45pm or else kept in a baby's playpen. Regarding the Levitcal Priest, choose a man with his own real beard and no glasses. Assign a seamstress to sew his garment – plenty of web sites show the design. He needs only to supply a pair of his own sandals. He must be there to try on his outfit and to learn what he is to do by 5:30pm#. Once in the outfit, he must remain unseen till he is in procession. On the sides of all your doorways, put about 4" wide of brown paper over the door frames and smear on red paint to resemble the blood that was put on the lintels of the door posts in the Passover night in scripture.
7) If there is a florist in the congregation, it would be lovely to have some bouquets on the platform (any colours)


  1. a cardboard sized table, which the leader will use as a “show table” to demonstrate from the platform, so that the male and female leaders of each table can see and do likewise. This should be front centre stage, visible to all in the auditorium.
  2. a small table for a “m'norrah” (seven-sticked candelabra)
  3. good lighting and sound for the platform and the auditorium.


  1. the tables can be round, oval, square, or rectangular, and should seat 6 - 8 people.
  2. use white or solid colour table cloth - no patterns or floral design. Avoid pink and avoid plastic as this must be treated formally.
  3. napkins (preferably cloth - same guidelines as tablecloth)
  4. small bouquet of flowers at each table (real or artificial)
  5. water glass for each person and smaller glass for the grape juice (fill both glasses). Get table signs instructing the guests not to drink the juice until appointed times.
  6. filled water jug on each table
  7. salt and pepper, cream and sugar on each table (no butter - not "kosher" when served with meat.)
  8. place setting for each person
  9. coffee makers, coffee, tea, and cups plus cold drinks for kids on separate beverage table
  10. in centre of each table, one UNlit candle in candle holder plus package of matches
  11. in centre of each table, a round large tray holding the following "seder" articles: ("Seder" is pronounced "SAYder".


(Leader will have to have a head "show and tell" table
with all the "seder" articles on it as well
so that the audience can visually see and copy what he does)

  • cup of salt water
  • enough parsley sprigs for each person at the table
  • one hard boiled cold egg (no shell - only one per table)
  • one clean lamb bone with no meat on it (any size, save bones ahead of time).
  • horseradish in an egg cup with a tiny spoon
  • wash basin (an average size kitchen salad bowl will do) to put on floor beside male leader of each table and filled with water. Next to it put a small clean folded hand towel.
  • 3 separate “matzot” (special unleavened bread) enclosed in a white cloth napkin and three other “matzot” in a basket. (Please note: "matza" is singular, and "matzot" is plural.) These should be available at any per market or delicatessen.
  • 6 to 8 stocks of leaks or good sized green onions
  • a mixture of chopped apples and nuts in a small bowl, called “kharoset” (see recipe below)

“Kharoset” recipe (pronounced “ka-ROH-set”)
You will have to make enough of this to fill a tea cup 1/2 full to put on each table. (If you have any left over after the Passover, the mixture can be used in baking something else, so don't throw out.) Here is the recipe which will have to be enlarged according to how many numbers of people you will have:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tart apple (estimate 1/4 apple per person
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grape juice

Pare, core, and grate apples. Add the rest of the ingredients and leave it in the refrigerator for several hours. (This must be made the morning of Passover or the night before, so that it is ready. Yes, this is supposed to turn brown.)

each person must also have one "wine" glass or ordinary glass which must remain empty until service starts. Place a jug of purple grape juice at each table. There should be a sign at each table that says not to drink it just because you are thirsty – the water will handle that – but as a ceremonial to sip at 4 different times, so the drinking of it must be spaced out. Stretch this by using Welch's grape juice in a bottle mixed with concentrate and water down a bit - it's cheaper) Have paper napkins under a small plate for everybody.


DINNER FORMAT (served approximately 7;30pm)
Here are the choices you have in setting up the actual dinner:

Set the menu for them well in advance. This will mean that you will have to charge the guests for the dinner, plus any other expenses. Warn the chef to keep food “kosher” (no shrimp, lobster, pork, crab, and no leavened bread or butter or deserts with leavened products.) We suggest roast lamb or beef or chicken, with vegetables, salad, and fruit dessert. You will have to work closely with them to make sure they understand everything. The waiters must understand that after they prepare everything, you will not be needing them for 1 hour until the dinner starts. After the dinner, it is preferable that they wait until the very end of the evening to clear the tables, as it makes too much noise during the ceremony. If they must do it, ask them to be very quiet.

a) Single Cook
Assign the meal to be cooked on the church premises by your own church people. Bear in mind the "kosher" restrictions. This can either be bank-rolled by the church, or set a charge.
b) Caterers
Work with them the same way as above with a restaurant. Tell them about the "kosher" restrictions. Again, you will have to charge.
c) Pot-Luck
Have everyone bring pot luck (every family must bring ALL THREE ITEMS!) 1) hot dish of beef or fish or poultry, 2) hot vegetables or salad 4) dessert without leaven. A couple can bring the same; a single person can bring one category. If someone is unable to cook, he/she can bring other things like pickles, olives, fresh washed fruit etc. This is the cheapest way to go. You may still need to charge in order to pay for other expenses and/or take up an offering. Because there is a danger of taking too long in the lineup, make sure there are enough tables and access to all sides of each table. Remind your cooks regarding the “kosher” restrictions. And also, they must remember to bring their own serving dishes and serving utensils. If they have food warmers, they would be most useful to keep food warm for 1 hour before eating.
d) Separate Tables
It would be the responsibility of an appointed female leader of each table to prepare the entire meal for her table. Remind her of the "kosher" restrictions, and to bring own serving dishes and utensils. Again, there CAN be a charge for expenses and/or an offering.

If a restaurant venue, you MUST have reservations. Even if at church, it still helps to know where you stand to have reservations called into the church, leaving name, how many in the party, and phone number. They do not have to pay till the actual evening. Therefore you will need a good sized registration desk with at least 2 people manning it with the same photocopied list for both. If a church set-up, you must decide on your fee for adults, for kids up to 13, for senior citizens etc. A love offering must also be taken up to defray other expenses.

- Because this should be treated as a formal event, the congregation should know well in advance to wear the best apparel that they own. Treat it like a wedding!
- Platform leadership (musicians, singers, dancers) should be in own Biblical garb

Select ahead of time a young boy about 12 years old, who has a good, loud speaking voice, and who can read properly, to recite the FOUR QUESTIONS on enclosed sheet. He then sings the traditional “HaLyla HaZeh”. (Google it on the Internet or YouTube) This will take place about 45 min. into the programme.

Select ahead of time a young girl about 12 years old, who will leave her seat and go to a door to open it for "Elijah" so that all can see. Of course, Elijah does not appear, so she shuts the door and and goes back to her seat. This occurs AFTER the dinner around 8:45pm. She doesn't have to say anything.

Beforehand, you should appoint a responsible spiritual couple, preferably husband and wife, to head up EACH table. As the tables should be numbered, you must assign them to their proper ones. They follow the leader's instructions as to what to do when.
For the males, they just read the prayers indicated in order at the appointed times which the leader will instruct. Also they will be the ones to serve the articles on the "seder" plate. Their prayers will be said as an English translation after the Hebrew prayers which leader says. (Please see Passover Prayers on separate document) Please photocopy for as many times as there are tables, and put at the place setting of the male leaders.)
For the females, when aap0onted woman lights the large "m'norrah" (candelabra) near the first of the programme, the female leaders arise and light their candles too. After she recites the prayer of candle lighting in Hebrew, they recite together the English translation together out loud, then sit down. Other than that, they are there to assist the male leaders in any way, so must sit beside them.

As this is a holy feast, please keep the music HOLY (not necessarily slow) and not conducive to jiving. If you would like to use the special Passover music we have written, you can e-mail us and we will send it to you. <>

If you have any people who have studied the dance in the congregation or who have already been used as worship leaders in the dance, you can always use their talents. There are 2 categories of the spiritual dance:

  1. the Israel folk dance particularly suited to the up-tempo kind of Hebraic music you will be presenting at times.
  2. the more balletic dance, suitable for the slower worship songs.


  • a responsible engineer, not a "rookie"
  • mics for all your musicians and singers and leader
  • choose Israeli-type music for time folks are arriving

For all songs and congregational proclamations, use computerized heavy black large lettered overhead transparencies OR Power Point. (Just make sure that even senior citizens can see the words – don't put ALL the verses on one page.) You will need a table for the overhead projector, and a responsible ADULT to show these who is quick-on-the-draw. Check to see if there is also a spare bulb. If using Power Point, select a knowledgeable person to man this. Also either a large screen, or white sheet, or blank light wall.

You may want to tape and/or video the whole event. Also have a good photographer on hand.

Get some background literature pertaining to the Feast of Passover photocopied and put on the chairs of each guest, so the he/she will have something to read while waiting for the programme to start. Please do not use this to advertise some other event.

Sell Messianic CDs

Men to set up the tables and chairs, put up the banners, the mural, the sound system, the overhead projector, the serving tables, the platform tables and chairs, the book table, the video camera work, clean-up after evening etc. (in other words, anything manual) All this will be under the supervision of leadership.
Women to set the tables, cook, prepare the "seder" articles beforehand, get the table candles, holders, matches We will need 2 or 3 women at registration table, 2 for procession leaders (one to put articles in order and to label who is taking what, and one to discipline the actual procession), and a couple for artistic decor. All this will be under the supervision of head of decorations. Also, to supervise the handing out of symbols for the procession (also on another blog)

As you wish. Please bear in mind that for the actual dinner, you will need seats reserved for all the leadership, including musicians & dancers (mark them ahead of time) near the platform. At the head table should be the pastor and his wife, plus any other guests you would like to honour.


  • 7 white dinner sized white candles (7 for "m'norrah") for show table and long lighter
  • matches for each table
  • small real flowers for each table (unless you already have artificial ones) plus stage
  • grape juice (enough to fill each small grape juice glass at each table)
  • "matzot" (unleavened bread)—supermarket or Jewish deli)


  • food warmers (hot dishes must be kept warm for approximately 1 hour)
  • any dinner and dessert plates, cutlery, 2 sizes of glasses (unless church already has them)

"SHOFAR" (ram's horn)
Assign a MAN to play the "shofar" (ram's horn) at the first of the ceremony.

You will need male and female volunteers to help clean up after the feast.

There must be much prayer for this feast. It is always a tremendous blessing, because people begin to understand the rich covenant of which we are all a part because of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus - Yeshua HaMashiach! But there may be some spiritual attacks, so you must be on guard!


  • lentil with a bit of onion and garlic and beef soup stock or powder for flavour (NO added meat or bacon)
  • NO ROLLS OR BREAD ON TABLE (just "matzot")

- lamb or beef or chicken cubes on long skewer (no pork!), interspersed with wedges of red, green, and yellow peppers, cooking onions, and whole fresh mushrooms, (brush everything well with a mixture of oil and Soya sauce, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and cumin powder
- white Basmati rice with pine nuts sprinkled throughout
- sliced eggplant fried in oil with Soya sauce, salt and pepper, cumin OR you can deep fry them in bread crumbs
- sliced cooked carrots, drained, add hot sauce of butter, honey, garlic powder, and ginger - then mix

- minced tomatoes and cucumber with skins ON, fresh parsley (VERY important that tomatoes and cucumbers are all finely chopped into pieces the size of 1/2 a computer key
- make light dressing from salad oil, lemon juice, bit of white sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then mix

- lots of cubed different kinds of fresh fruit on toothpicks on a lazy Susan. In the middle you make a dip from white unflavoured yogurt, by adding brown sugar to it (you can also add sour cream and whipping cream (already whipped) The result is the closet thing to a product known only in Israel as "shemenet"
- OR you can have just the fresh fruit

- the grape juice is for the ceremony BEFORE the meal and AFTER the meal ONLY
- have a pitcher of ice water and water glasses on table throughout whole evening for anyone getting thirsty during ceremony