People often have a hard time understanding the Bible, in part because they have no frame of reference. What is a cubit? How does it feel to wander in a wilderness? Why is it so exciting to find a well?
We can show pictures and tell stories, but the most vivd learning our children and teens will do is from what they experience. You may not live close enough to a wilderness to let a group of teens wander around for a few days, or have a nearby oasis for a field trip, but there are some easy things you can do to bring the Bible to life.
Perhaps the easiest way to help children and teens experience the BIble is through food. While I am not a big meat eater, a few local butchers helped me track down some quail meat. For about ten dollars I was able to let an entire class of teens step into the book of Exodus for a few minutes. I even threw in a few “manna” cookies to complete the story.
Not only does eating provide a vivid memory to help cement a Bible story, but it can also give some perspective. Mana cookies were good, but what if you had to eat them every meal to the tune of two quarts a day….for forty years?! Suddenly, the whining of the Israelites is a little easier to understand.
Once the teens or even younger children can identify with how the Israelites must have felt, it brings up an entirely different set of questions. Instead of just, “Why didn’t they remember what God had done?”, they now must address, “Why is it important for me to be grateful under all circumstances?”
So the next time, you are reading the Bible with your children or teach a class, look for foods to be mentioned. Find the recipe on the internet or track down some local sources. Not only will your children be able to step into a Bible story, but it might just add a new depth to the discussions about it as well. If you have found a favorite Bible food or recipe to share with kids, please share it with us in a comment below.