Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Wedding at Cana

Post your Sunday School cooking lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for the Wedding at Cana.

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Rejection at Nazareth and Wedding at Cana - Matthew 13:53-58, Luke 4:20-30. John 2:1-11.

Bible lessons and ideas about the Wedding at Cana -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc



Below two great ideas - Cooking Workshop with a great idea for a separate Wedding Banquet! 

Wedding at Cana

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will look at some wedding cakes and taste two cakes: one pre-made “normal” cake and one special, homemade cake made with “Jesus” ingredients.

Objectives:

  1. Children will learn that “the best” comes when we work with Jesus.
  2. Children will learn the basic outline of the story of the wedding at Cana.

Supplies:

  • Bibles (and bookmarks)
  • Easel and marker
  • Store purchased cake, preferably a few days old and if you can find it, without frosting
  • Pictures of wedding cakes
  • 9 inch round cake pan
  • Three mixing bowls
  • Electric beater
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rubber scraper
  • Ingredients
    • 1 c. Cake flour
    • 1 t. Baking powder
    • Pinch Salt
    • 5 T. Butter
    • ½ c. Sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ t. vanilla
    • 1/3 c. milk

Advance Preparation: 

  • On the easel, write the following: 
       Flour Wheat          --> Matthew 3:11-12
       Baking Soda/Salt --> Matthew 5:13
       Butter Oil              --> Mark 6:12-13
       Sugar Sweet         --> Psalm 19:9-10
       Eggs New Life       --> John 1:4
       Milk                        --> Number 13:27
  • Pre-measure ingredients and have them in bowls waiting for the children; have your cake plan floured; Cream the butter so it is ready to go. Preheat oven to 375.

Note:  Baking time for this cake is 20 minutes, so you will want to put the cake in the oven by about 9:30 to have time for the tasting and discussion. 



Lesson Plan 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

  • Have the children find the Wedding at Cana story in their Bibles and bookmark it. Explain that this is a story about a miracle at a wedding. Ask the children if they have ever been to a wedding.
  • Explain that in Jesus’ day, something that was at every wedding was wine and the Bible story mentions that. Can anybody think of something that in our culture we have at just about every wedding? (cake is the answer we’re looking for. Give them hints if needed.)
  • Show some pictures of wedding cakes. Explain that we are not going to make anything that fancy today, but we are going to compare two cakes: a cake that was made in the store (Bring out the pre-packaged cake) and a cake that we will make today that we are going to call a “Jesus Cake” because the ingredients remind us of things Jesus did or said. We are going to decide which cake we like best. Let’s get baking, and we’ll look at what all our ingredients mean when our cake is in the oven.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

  1. Put flour, baking soda, and salt in the first bowl. (Call children’s attention to the first two rows on the easel.
  2. In a second bowl with the mixer cream together the flour and sugar (call children’s attention to the second two rows.
  3. In a third bowl, beat together eggs and vanilla. (Call children’s attention to the fifth row on the easel.) [NOTE: A shepherd can have a group doing this step while you do steps 1 & 2)
  4. Add eggs to the butter mixture and combine.
  5. (call children’s attention to the last item on the easel) Beat in 1/3 the flour mixture, ½ the milk, 1/3 the flour, ½ the milk, 1/3 the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Pour batter into the cake pan. NOTE: this recipe was cut down from a larger three layer cake and the amount you make makes slightly more that was originally needed for one layer. Therefore, don’t scrape the sides of the bowl too vigorously unless you want to add to cooking time!
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While you are waiting, continue with life application.

Life Application:

  1. While the cake is baking, look up the Bible story that goes along with each ingredient. (written on your easel).
  2. Read the story of the wedding at Cana together.
  3. Which was better, the wine the host served at the beginning or the wine made with Jesus at the end?

Now we will do our own taste test with the Jesus cake. (Serve children a small slice of each cake).

  • Which do you think tastes better – the cake from the store or the cake made with Jesus? (You can vote if you would like.)
  • Even if kids like the store cake better, you can affirm that YOU like the Jesus cake better, and you think most things are better when we do them with Jesus in our hearts.
  • Together, brainstorm different things that are better when we do them with Jesus in our hearts.

Closing:

End with a prayer.




A Wedding Banquet

Summary of Lesson Activities:
We will prepare a first-century wedding feast for the children to enjoy and learn from. We will present the story from the point of view of an ordinary wedding guest who wouldn’t know about all the behind the scenes activities.


Leader Preparation:
For the wedding banquet, we are sending out wedding invitations complete with stamped reply cards to all the children on our mailing list. We made it look like a real invitation/reply card -- we want a lot of "what's this?" questions and want the stamped reply cards so that folks will be encouraged to say yes or no. We're hoping it will be a boost to attendance that day -- we'll see. Ideally, I would do this first, before the other lessons, although teacher schedules made that not possible in our case.

Supplies:

  • Decorating (Table & Chuppah Set-up):
    • Set up a table or table in the Roman style. Fold the legs under so it is lying on the floor. Set cushions around the table.
    • Set up a chuppah – a cloth on four poles that the couple would stand under.
  • Food
    • Middle Eastern food – you choose if you want to do some cooking.
    • Simple ideas would be dates, figs, grapes nuts, and olives.
    • The “olive bar” at Giant has some foods such as stuffed grape leaves and couscous that would also fit the region and period.
    • Some watered down, not very good grape juice (not enough, you need to run out) followed by better grape juice
  • Plates and cups as needed – all eating would be done by the hands.
  • Costumes
    • All children should dress up in Biblical costumes for the event.
  • Music
    • "Ancient Echoes: music from the time of Jesus and Jerusalem's second temple," by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble. ISBN 1-58459-164-1www.wlpmusic.com

The Wedding Banquet

** BEFORE THE BANQUET – about a week before the banquet have the office send wedding invitations to all the children in the class. This will catch their attention and hopefully pull in a few that haven’t been attending.

Steps during Wedding Banquet (Explain the reason behind everything as you go).

  1. Procession – take the costumed children on a noisy parade. Give them noise makers and take a trip through the church.
  2. Explain the Chuppa and give everyone a chance to stand under it. Teach them the toast “La Chayim”.
  3. Go to the banquet. Have music playing in the background. Explain how many people would be there. Pass out food and grape juice (remember to run out). Pretend to be shocked and embarrassed not to have enough juice. Play this up with the shepherd if you want. Pass out more better grape juice.
  4. Turn up the volume of the music and teach the children to do the hora.

After the banquet questions:

  1. Did you notice what we ran out of during the banquet?
  2. How did we get more grape juice? Which grape juice was better the first or the second?
  3. Explain that there was a Bible story about a wedding banquet where the wine ran out. Let’s read it together. Read John 2:1-12

Wondering Questions:

  • I wonder who was getting married.
  • I wonder how well Jesus knew the couple.
  • I wonder what it would have been like to be there.


Closing:

Close with a prayer blessing the children who have gathered.


Resources:  

Lisa - we developed the wedding banquet from ideas I got on the HELP! exchange, listed below:

  1. From Julie Burton
    There is a book titled, "Bible Banquets for Kids" by Cindy Dingwall. I have only scanned it, but it may have the info you need.
  2. Music Idea from Barbara in Portland.
  3. From Jan Napa
    - Eat: You could keep it simple ... dried fruits, dates, figs, olives, bread or crackers, grape juice (although you might run out of grape juice and have to serve water).
    - Do: Learn the traditional "grapevine" dance ... very simple ... it's a group dance.
    Search on wikipedia.org for Hora Dance and here (Hora Dance): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRg1UIUkjI.Then maybe get the kids to create their own dance. 
    - Music: A group that has "authentic" music from Jesus' Day see CD: Ancient Echoes - Music from the time of Jesus and Jerusalem's Second Temple by San Antonil Vocal Arts Ensemble http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ...14549-6144966?n=5174  And at this site you can hear a quick soundbyte of it:  http://www.npr.org/templates/s....php?storyId=1234688. Also Group Publishing has had VBS programs with authentic music, maybe you could track one down.
    -You could also have the kids learn some words or phrases in Hebrew.

Background Material  

Wedding History:

Explain what we know of ancient wedding traditions, and the parts of modern traditions that we think might have been part of.

Weddings were festive events including the whole community. This marriage was a major expense to the family, and something they would have saved for from the time their child was born.

The marriage was arranged by parents and elders of the community, the young people were not “in love.”

The bridegrooms friends and family would begin by parading through the village to the home of the bride. This usually took the long route and could take half the day. There was a lot of reveling going on in this procession and many people would join it. It is possible that all men regardless of what family they came from did this, while all women stayed with the bride. Or it could be that men and women of each family kept their place with their family member.

When the bridegroom arrived, the bride would be brought out by her father or another male relative. She would be veiled. The two would then proceed to a Chuppa which is basically a cloth set up on poles that the couple would stand under.

Prayer shawls are sometimes used.

A blessing would be said over the bride & groom. Then the banquet would begin filled with lots of food, music and dancing. It would continue well into the night. At some point the young couple would sneak away, but the celebration would continue without them.

Dance 

Dance a simplified “hora” in a circle. (some would call it a grapevine)
Left foot behind right.
Right foot moves to the right.
Left foot in front of right
Right to the side.
(get faster, then reverse)

Learn a Hebrew toast
“La Chayim” (La KI yeem) – means “to life”
(There is a Fiddler on the Roof song of this toast which you could also use if you can find it.) 


A lesson written by Rev. Lisa Martin of Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ
Pottstown, PA

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