We all discover faith in different places. For some, faith is experienced in a pew, while for others, they need to be outside. But, what if one of the main ways we connected with God was around the table? What if the idea of breaking bread wasn’t just thought of as communion. What if instead, we could use communal meals as an act of connecting spiritually and with our faith?
Let’s learn together what food “from the tablet to the table” could really mean for ourselves, and for our families. While the Bible references the spiritual benefits of fasting, I want us to explore the concept of feasting!
Embarking on a living example of this spiritual feast feels new to me, yet at the same time it’s very familiar. After all, Acts 2:46 says, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Isn’t that breaking bread a practice I hold three times a day? Still though, while I have a love for both food and the Bible, wouldn’t it be great if we could easily integrate worship into our food preparation and consumption?
I invite you to follow along with me, as we unwrap the Biblical connections between food and faith!
Together, we’ll unpack verses and share simple ways you can practice this for yourself or with others at your table, no matter how large or small it is.
How can we start engaging our kids in learning about food in the bible? As a busy mother to three growing boys, large charcuterie boards of diverse foods seemed like a natural place to begin. After all, I figured I’d relay how the foods found on these boards were commonplace in our pantry and throughout the Bible. I want to help my kids understand where Jesus was from and what he may have eaten. I want them to realize that he didn’t drive a car and eat pizza on Fridays. Jesus often spoke about how our hearts and our appetites go much deeper than just culinary desires. And, while I’d like to think he enjoyed food, he also said in Matthew 4:4 in response to Satan, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
So, should we not care about food? Absolutely not. It’s noteworthy to think about what appetites we have outside of bread and drink that may be getting in the way of our faith.
When preparing this meal, have your children think of how the shepherds must have eaten in the fields, or how Jesus must have eaten while traveling with his disciples. What if you opted for focusing your meals for a week around ingredients found in the Bible?
To create your board, gather as many of these items as you can: dill, mint, apples, almonds, dates, figs, grapes, melons, olives, pistachios, pomegranates, raisins and cucumbers. Each of these ingredients are actually mentioned in the Bible! Have fun gathering the items and placing them around a large cutting board or platter! This is a great way to get everyone involved. I love the look of olive branches, but since those aren’t native to Virginia, I went ahead and added pretty clippings from a bush in our yard!
Verses to Explore Together
Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3, Acts 2:46
Questions to ask your table:
•What are the benefits of having meals together?
•Do you think Jesus had a meal like this while he was on Earth?
•What do you think his favorite food was?
•What food is your favorite here?
•What food do you really crave?
•Are there other things you crave that aren’t food?
There are no right or wrong answers here, the idea is to start the conversation!
I hope you have fun with this practice and are able to connect foods mentioned in the Bible with your faith today!
Laura Sears is a writer and blogger, recently adding the title of homeschooling Mom to three sons in Virginia. Follow along for encouragement, their latest adventures and recipes over at @lbsgoodspoon on Instagram or her blog www.LauraSears.com