The Bread of Life, A Lesson Plan
This is an old lesson I did with my daughter, but it remains one of my favorites.

We started by singing a hymn with the musical accompaniment of a midifile I found on the internet. I then printed off a copy of the food pyramid and we talked about it. First, in general terms, then I asked her why the bread and cereals group was at the base. She reasoned that they were healthy, you needed more servings of them than anything else and, with some leading from mom, that group provides the base or foundation of a healthy diet.

We then gathered our ingredients for bread making. Today we made flat bread (and corn muffins while waiting for the dough to rise). I had intended on making some other kinds of bread, as well, since today is baking day, but we are short on flour.

She measured all the ingredients herself.
Here she is, cutting flour.

She mixed the ingredients, herself, and kneaded the dough. While kneading, we talked about life when Jesus lived. We talked about "our daily bread" and how much a part of daily life bread was. It is the foundation of our physical life. I asked her who the foundation of our spiritual life should be. She answered, "Christ." I'm not sure she really understood the question, but she always figures Jesus is the answer if she doesn't quite know what I'm asking.

I told her the bible says that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that falls from the mouth of God. We talked about that a bit. It is, afterall, by His word that all the ingredients exist in the first place. I like that notion. Even the atheist lives by the Word of God, even if he denies it. She talked about Jesus holding up the bread, blessing it and sharing it with the thousands. While the bread rose, we made corn muffins and had some time to watch Bob the Builder. Then came the fun part: punching the dough.

God provides all our needs. He gives us the bread we need for today. He has blessed us in abundance. So much so that it is common for us to confuse needs with wants. In fact, God does more than provide our needs. God IS our need, just like bread. I told dd6 that the bible calls Jesus the bread of life while she rolled out the dough.

Why would the bible say something like that? "Because He gives us bread," she said. "He feeds all the people." True. I lead her a bit more, referring to the food pyramid and the bread at its's foundation. "Jesus is our foundation!" She finally got it. Jesus is our daily bread because we need Him EVERY day. For everything, even when we don't notice it. While we stacked the finished bread for its photo-op, I told her this bread is a lot like the bread Jesus would have eaten. It comes from the same area of the world. Only now we are using processed white flour instead of stone-ground whole wheat flour.

For dinner, we had a somewhat traditional Middle Eastern meal. Meals in Iraq and Syria commonly involve fresh yogurt (I made this two days ago), tomatoes, chicken, rice, fresh fruit and, of course, flatbread. The rice is made a little differently. It is first fried in olive oil and then poured in the boiling water to cook. The chicken is often too salty for most American tastes. The meal is eaten sitting on the floor, and family members often eat from a common dish. It is commonly served with a yogurt beverage consisting of equal parts yogurt and water, salted to taste. I love the stuff, but no one else in my family does. And the meal is concluded with Assam tea, served about as sweet as your kids would probably drink it, if you let them.

While we ate, I instructed my daughter in proper eating, as it was taught to me by a family of refugees from Iraq. We prayed and then broke the bread. She immediately associated that with Passover. I told her that was similar, but there would have been no yeast in the bread. Then you use the bread and your thumb to scoop small portions of rice or take a piece of chicken. We practiced and I pointed out how you always consume the meal with a bite of bread. It is the foundation yet again. Not only does your body need it, but even the way it is eaten shows bread as a base. Eat bread dipped in plain, fresh yogurt. Eat bread with a small amount of rice pressed on it. Eat bread with a morsel of chicken. Moosh a tomato wedge in the rice, and eat that with a piece of the bread. That's how our life should be. With Jesus, the bread of life, at the base of everything. He is our sustenance and His provisions are but flavoring. Christ does not meet our needs. He IS our need.

This post is my entry to win a camera in the "Share Your Favorite Lesson Plan" Contest sponsored by Sprittibee and Academic Superstore.

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