Psalm 34:8 invites us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Jesus calls Himself the bread of life and He encourages His followers to be the salt of the earth. There are innumerable references to fruit, fish, and oil in the Bible. Sometimes food staples such as these are mentioned as part of the typical diet consumed. Other times they are specifically referenced as illustrations and challenges for the reader.
If you’re looking for a multi-sensory approach to family devotions, head into the kitchen. Grab an apron, mixing bowls, measuring cups, ingredients, and the Bible. Begin in prayer, read a passage of Scripture, and discuss its meaning as you follow the recipe and prepare the food. I have included some devotional ideas to get you started. The best part of these devotions is the final product! Not too much can compare to fresh baked bread out of the oven. Yum!
Here are some suggestions for your edible devotions:
1. Make Homemade Bread: Cook a loaf for yourself and a loaf to give away as a gift to a neighbor, widow, friend, or family member.
Matthew 6:11 is a prayer to, “Give us today our daily bread.” What does that mean? (We are asking for God to provide for our needs day by day.) Do we always see God as our Provider? How has God provided for our family? Think of specific instances throughout the year where God has been faithful.
In John 6: 35, Jesus states, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Why do we eat bread (or food, for that matter?) (To make us full; to keep us physically alive.) Why does Jesus call Himself bread? (He is what we need for our spiritual life.) How can we “never go hungry” if we have Christ? (He satisfies our deepest needs.) If we eat everyday to keep us alive physically, what should we do to keep us alive spiritually? (Spend time with God daily.)
2. Make Popcorn or Soft Pretzels: (Popcorn is recommended only for children 5 and up due to choking hazards.) Cook up some popcorn on the stove. Test the popcorn plain. Add some salt and butter. Does it improve the taste?
Make soft pretzels. Once again, taste test with and without the salt. Discuss the shape of the pretzel. Tradition says that its shape was created to teach people about the Trinity. Talk about the doctrine of the Trinity. Who is God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? What is our relationship like with each of them?
Discuss the verse in Matthew 5:13 that challenges Jesus’ followers to be the salt of the earth. Jesus words here are rather harsh. He says, “If the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything.” What is the purpose of salt? (To flavor, to preserve, to heal) When we eat something salty, how do we feel? (Thirsty) How should we be like salt? (We should bring out the best in people. We should not blend in. People should notice something different about us and want what we have!)
3. Prepare a Fruit Tray: Make a rainbow of fruit. Include each color: Red (strawberries, raspberries, or watermelon), Orange (oranges, cantaloupe), Yellow (bananas, pineapple), Green (grapes, melon), Blue (blueberries), and Purple (Grapes). Discuss Genesis 9:12-15, which explains the covenant that God made with His people. You may want to discuss healthy eating habits and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which challenges us to honor God with our body.
Make an apple pie, blueberry muffins, orange juice, or strawberry jam… the possibilities are endless!
If using an apple recipe, discuss Psalm 17:8, which is a prayer to, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” What does that mean? (As our pupils our protected in our eyes, so we are protected in God’s eye.) Does that mean that we will avoid pain or trouble? What might be the purpose of hard times? Discuss specific instances where God has protected you in your life.
With any other fruit recipe, discuss Galatians 5:21-23, which is the popular fruit of the Spirit verse. If Jesus is in our lives, what qualities should people see in us? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.) These qualities are the result of Christ in our lives, as we daily seek Him. If Christ is not in our lives, what would our fruit look like? (deceitfulness, selfishness, anger, jealousy, etc.) What fruit would people say they saw in your life? What fruit do you see in my life? How can we work together towards developing better fruit?