Monday, March 3, 2008

Real Food For Thought

Though I usually share children's church lesson ideas and such on Wednesday's, I was so encouraged by yesterday's lesson I wanted to share it today!

All last week, I prayed for an object lesson I could share with my group of 14 students. I wanted something related to Easter, but couldn't find ANYTHING that wowwed me. Friday night came and I still didn't have a lesson, so I prayed. Saturday we visited my son and his family in MD and I still couldn't think of anything, even though I used the travel time to pray and develop ideas.

Saturday night on the way home, God finally broke through my foggy brain with a great idea. Thankfully, it was one I had used before so I wasn't flying by the seat of my pants... Passover! I had purchased a coloring book on the Story of Passover several years ago and have used it several times to teach a lesson about the Passover celebration.

During Holy Week, Jesus was in Jerusalem. He had a passionate desire to share the Passover feast with his disciples one last time because He had much to teach them. But Passover is just a word to most of the children I teach so I decided to SHOW them what it was all about - after all, God uses visual aids all the time to teach us.

Beginning with the story in Luke 22:7-10 of Jesus directing His disciples to find a place to prepare the Passover meal, I shared how it was customary to thoroughly clean the room to be sure there was no leaven in the house. Before class I hid a piece of white bread under one of the chairs and had the children find it.

Next I passed out plates and cups of grape juice to each child, talking about the wine in the feast representing the blood of the lamb used to paint the door post so the death angel would pass over the children of Israel.

We played "Fear Factor" encouraging those who wanted to taste all the foods of the passover feast as I brought out each one and shared what it represented:
- The parsley dipped in salt water representing the tears of the Israelites as they prayed to God in their slavery and the parting of the red sea
- The lamb bone representing the lamb that was slain in order to paint the doorposts with its blood. It was eaten quickly and nothing was left til morning in their hurried preparations to leave Egypt
- The egg representing the strength of the Israelites and the new life of freedom God was opening up for them.
- The bitter herbs to show the bitterness and strife of slavery
- The apple-nut mixture representing the mortar used to make the bricks and
- The unleavened bread, baked quickly because they didn't have time to let it rise.
(Since I have a lot of boys in the class, they thought it was great when I brought out the horseradish for the "bitter herbs.")

I shared how each item was an object lesson to the people of Israel to help them remember what God did for them when He brought them out of Egypt. Because Jesus wanted His disciples to remember, He shared the Passover meal with them. But He also had new lessons to teach them too - the lessons of Communion which I will share with them next week.

God ALWAYS comes through! The kids learned the meaning of Passover and were able to see, taste and experience reminders of how God took care of Israel in the difficult times. I can't wait to teach next week's lesson!

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