If it were not for the fact that my sister posted this year's Memorial invitation on her Facebook page yesterday I would have no idea it was today (Note: I live a quarter mile from the local Kingdom Hall. Still no invite). I faded well over a decade ago, but was not mentally out until I attended my last Memorial in 2010. Attending the Memorial actually helped me leave.
Yesterday I started analyzing the event that Jehovah's Witnesses tout as the most important day of the year. I remember well how much of a big deal they made out of it. Then it was about in the 1990s that this practice of people buying new suits or dresses and going out to dinner in large groups afterwards started. This event is as close to a Christmas as JWs will ever get.
So, JWs proclaim that they practice the Lord's Evening Meal in the way Jesus intended. The Gospel accounts are referenced with Jesus quote "Keep on doing this in remembrance of me." The Watchtower then takes liberties in interpreting this using what they believe is reasoning -
- Jesus instituted the Lord's Evening Meal on the same evening as Jewish Passover.
- Jewish Passover is once a year.
- The Memorial should be once a year on Nissan 14.
Then the Watchtower really reaches out. I mean, it's a big stretch -
- The Lord's Evening Meal is intended for the annointed.
- We all should be present, but not participate, out of respect and to show we are grateful.
If this mystical man known as Jesus of Nazareth really existed, and that's a topic for another discussion, he seemed to know the following -
- It's Nissan 14 at sundown.
- After celebrating Passover I will be arrested.
- The next day I will be executed.
Time was running out for ole Jesus. He knew that Nissan 14 was his last chance to start this whole Lord's Evening Meal. So, was it intended to be held the same night as Jewish Passover? I guess we will never know. What I suggest is that the Watchtower's reasoning is rather flimsy in regards to it being an annual event.
Next, we look at the whole idea of the non-participating observer. Fortunately, we do have definitive scriptural proof that this is not so...maybe.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke's account of the Lord's Evening Meal are written in a way the reader may think Judas Iscariot participated. However, John's account is different -
So after he received the piece of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night - John 13:30
So, during the Passover Judas Iscariot leaves the meal after it is revealed that he will betray Jesus. Why is this of importance? Simply put: Only those partaking are invited. All others - hit the road!
Next I started researching another topic I had always wondered - Why didn't the Jews accept Jesus as the foretold Messiah? It didn't take too long to discover. So far my research shows this - He wasn't!