Family Devotion Idea: We're Thankful for Food
*About twice a month, we try to post the outline of a family devotion that you and your kids can do together. Carve out some time with your kids for a fun and creative discussion this week!
The food we eat is from God, and we should show our appreciation for the food He provides.
Numbers 11:4-10 – God provided the Israelites with manna from heaven as they traveled away from Egypt. The Israelites were not grateful for the food and started to complain, wanting meat. God became angry.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.”
Paper and crayons
Plastic laundry baskets
Money to buy food
Lesson and Discussion:
*Words that are written in bold are when you, the parent, are speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
November is the month when we celebrate “Thanksgiving!” Thanksgiving is a special day that we set aside to thank God for giving us life and everything life brings. God is the source of all food. It is important that we thank God and show appreciation for the food He gives us.
The story from the Bible about Moses and the Israelites is an example of a time when God’s children did not give thanks for food. The story about the Pilgrims and the Indians is an example of a time when God’s children did give thanks for food. Both stories are true.
God told Moses to lead His people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. After God sent seven plagues, Pharaoh let Moses and the Israelites leave. After God saved the Israelites from the plagues, the Pharaoh and the Red Sea, the Israelites had to walk through a desert wilderness. They started complaining to God that they were going to die for lack of food. God provided a special food called manna every day so that the Israelites would not go hungry. But then the Israelites started to complain about the manna because they wanted different types of food. God was very angry that they complained and did not show appreciation for the manna.
Do you ever complain about food that Mom or Dad makes and ask for something else? When we complain about the food we have, does that show appreciation for the work Mom or Dad did to make the meal? Does it show appreciation to God who provides all our food? Can you think of a way to ask for different food that would still show Mom, Dad and God that you appreciate the food you have?
The second story is about a group of Christians called Pilgrims. They crossed the ocean in small ships through dangerous storms to come to America. One of the reasons the Pilgrims came to America was for religious freedom. They loved God and wanted to worship God.
In those days, life in America was hard. It was difficult to build homes. It was hard work growing food. If there was not enough food, then the Pilgrims could starve, which means dying from lack of food.
Miles Standish and William Bradford were two of the Pilgrim leaders. They were friends with the Indians. Two of the Indian leaders were Samoset and Squanto. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to fish and farm. The Pilgrims learned to put a fish in the ground with corn so that the corn would grow tall. They learned how to grow pumpkins.
The first winter in America, 40 Pilgrims died because of disease. But, because of the Indians’ help, the Pilgrims planted crops in the spring, which resulted in a bountiful fall harvest. William Bradford called for a special feast to include both the Pilgrims and the Indians, which started the custom of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims were grateful to God for their food. What are different ways we can show God appreciation for our food? Telling Him by praying. Sharing food with others.
Create a family flag out of paper. Color favorite foods and the cross of Jesus on the flag. Tape the flag to a stick and attach it to the back of a laundry basket. Designate one part of the house as England and another part as America. The area in between is the Atlantic Ocean. Parents push the kids across the ocean in the laundry baskets. Rock the baskets to simulate storms during the journey across the ocean.
Go to the store and buy Thanksgiving type food (canned corn, canned cranberries, canned pumpkin, canned turkey or turkey soup and corn bread mix) and take it to a local food bank. This food will be used to help feed families that do not have enough food. God can use us to provide food for others.
If you like this devotion idea, there are hundreds more available from Family Time Training. See the link on the right side of this page for more information.