The Prodigal Son
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses Carob Pods (Pig Food)
For the children to learn about food that is part of the Prodigal Son story.
God wants us to know that no matter what we do, we cannot be separated from the love that God has for us in Jesus Christ. God wants us to love others this way, with lots of understanding, and lots of forgiveness, no matter what other people think of us for acting/loving this way.
- Read the story ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Cornbread muffin ingredients.
Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Opening Prayer: Loving God, thank you for allowing us to learn about you through cooking. Help us to remember that we are lucky to have food to share in this way, and help us to remember all who are hungry today. Amen.
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Gather the children together around the cooking table. Start them off immediately with preparing the cornbread/carob muffins. Once the muffins are in the oven talk with the children about the part of the story where the Prodigal Son eats with the pigs. The older children can look this up in their Bibles and the younger children can look at it in a children’s Bible. Talk to the children about how it feels to be hungry and to be willing to eat anything you can get to, and how we usually eat what we like, not what we need. Show the children the carob pods and talk with them about how they were used in pig feed and what a carob plant is (see handouts). Talk to them about how pigs also eat corn. Look with them on the globe at the different areas of the world where carob grows and let them taste the carob. Have the children help clean up and wash dishes while the muffins are in the stove. When the muffins come out let the children eat them and use honey as a dip. There is juice in the kitchen and/or water for them to drink. Bag up extra muffins in ziploc bags for the children to take home.
Thank you God for helping us to learn about you. Thank you for the food we eat and all of the abundance around us. Help us to be your servants. Amen.
Check your local Whole Foods or Organic Food store for carob pods. Or you can purchased carob pods at an online organic store like sunfood.com
There are tons of carob recipes online, but I found after lots of time with Google, that they all take a great deal of time, and in 45 minutes, the muffins were about all I had time for. Carob chips can be ordered online as well, but if you have a local health food store, it's a lot easier to just go there to get them, but they are fairly expensive compared to chocolate chips, our health food store charges about $5 a package.
We thought this was a great way to introduce the kids to thinking about what it would be like to eat with the pigs and highlight a usually glossed over part of this Parable (put it in context!)
Have the kids look at a globe/Bible maps to see/find the part of the world that the carob tree grows. We did this at Christmas too to find the frankensince and myrrh plants, they like finding things on the globe and seeing how that might fit into the biblical story. The adults learn too, most of them have no idea about these things and it helps them to appreciate the teaching you do with their children of these somewhat esoteric facts!
More follow up from the actual hands-on
)....the kids had mixed reactions to the carobs (typical!), and so perhaps to not let them try them until they are cooked in the muffins and they have honey on hand. Before cooking we got lots of scrunched up noses and "ewhhhh" commments, after cooking, they liked them. Of course, the carob chips look sort of like chocolate chips and so that throws them off a bit.
Originally posted by member RevShannon.
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