The Bible on a Board
For some faith is experienced in a pew while for others, they need to be outside. 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, but we could use meals as an act of connecting 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 there’s spiritual benefit to fasting mentioned in the Bible, I want us to think about feasting!
Embarking on this practice formally feels new to me and then at the same time 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,” and isn’t that breaking bread a practice I hold three times a day? While I have a love for both food and the Bible I think God wants us to think a bit deeper than just connecting church with the brunch we have afterwards. Learn along with me as we unwrap the Biblical connections between food and faith!
So, where do we start? I want to unpack some verses and then share some simple ways you can practice this for yourself or with others at your own table no matter how large or small it is. I knew as a mother to three growing boys the best way to start engaging my kids about learning about food in the Bible was to make a large charcuterie board of sorts, hold the charcuterie! I want my kids to be reminded through their senses where Jesus was from and what he may have eaten. I want them to realize he didn’t drive a car and eat pizza on Fridays. 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.” Jesus was pointing back to where Moses was talking to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3 reminding them of the manna that God provided with those same words.
So, should we not care about food? Absolutely not. Jesus is often speaking about our hearts and our appetites go much deeper than just culinary desires. 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.
Give yourself permission to have fun here and opt this meal in for dinner one night. 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. What if you did it for a month?
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 have some clippings from a bush in our yard!
Here are a few verses to read together when you sit down; Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 and Acts 2:46.
Questions to ask together. 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!