Saturday, May 16, 2015

Faith through Food: Ascension Day and Pentecost

Faith through food! That's something we embrace around here.

Two days ago, we enjoyed part of our Ascension Day celebrations with an easy, meaningful picnic on our front lawn.

Quick and Easy Fixings!

(Note: Some of the links below are affiliate ones so you can easily see the products if you are not familiar with them.)

Having had a busy week and with life promising another full day, I needed to keep prep for the meal easy.  So, out came:

At the head of the blanket, I also placed a statue of Jesus and Luke's copy of the The Action Bible opened to the page that depicts the Ascension. 

Faith through food! That's something we embrace around here.

Image Credit: Holy Heroes

Had we had more time for a picnic, I also would have put out a few things from one of our favorite apostolates, Holy Heroes, such as their Triumph of Jesus coloring book (which is half-off right now!) and their Glorious Mysteries CD.  But, revisiting those needed to wait for another day.

(Heads up:  For a limited time there is also a free coloring pages download of the Ascension on the Holy Heroes site, which you might want to grab for next year!)

Reinforcing the Readings with Food


Food at the ready on the blanket and grace prayed together, Daddy kicked off our faith through food time with a prayer from Why Catholic? Journey Through the Cathechism Live. 

Then, it was time to reinforce the Ascension day readings from the Bible through preparing and eating food, chatting and reading a portion of The Action Bible.


As I describe just how our food-and-faith chat unfolded, it might seem like it took a long time.  Honestly, the entire food-prep and chat portion of the "lesson" lasted less than ten minutes.  Then, further reading and conversation over the meal carried on for maybe a half an hour.  So, truly, I think anyone - even those with a tight mealtime schedule - could enjoy similar faith through food times on future Ascension days.  Our lesson was short, simple and oh so yummy!

First, we poured our Silk milk - a feast day favorite around here that we can tie quickly into anything.  In the case of Ascension day, it is brown, like the earth, and a sweet treat, like God's love shown to us through Jesus coming to earth and rising to open the Heavens!

Then, we all took served onto our plates.  I asked the kids why I might have chosen waffles for our Ascension Day lawn picnic.  What might they symbolize? Our brief discussion led to the ideas that:

  • Waffles are round, like the earth is often drawn. Jesus came to the earth to be with us and stayed here many days.  He also rose after he was killed and stayed on earth for about 40 days before ascending into Heaven.

  • The shape of a waffle is a circle.  Much like a circle never ends, neither does God's love for us.  Also, like a circle, Jesus came from Heaven to earth and went back to Heaven.  Waffles are also round like hosts, through which we receive Jesus at Mass.

  • The waffles are brown, like dirt.  For us, they would represent the earth from which our Lord ascended into Heaven.

Next, for some, came the spreading of our "butter" and the idea that Jesus came to earth to spread God's love and that his disciples do the same. The apostles spread truths about God and our job is to do so as well.

Then, came yogurt (or rather, cultured vanilla coconut milk) topped with berries.  The children quickly piped up that these represented the sky into which Jesus ascended.  We also commented that the yogurt is white, a color of purity, like Jesus is pure and is sweet, like Jesus' love and that the fruit reminds us of the fruit of the Spirit, whom Jesus sent to guide us.  (Most of us put our yogurt and berries on our waffles, but our pickier eaters had them on the side!)

Finally, came the kids' favorite part of a waffle meal: the syrup.  I let the each pour a generous portion of pure maple syrup atop their waffles, asking while they did so, "What did God pour down on people shortly after Jesus ascended?"  The Holy Spirit!  We then chatted about how we see the Holy Spirit in our lives and how we can let the Spirit move us in sharing our faith, God's love and His light with others.

Then, as the children ate, I read a chapter from The Action Bible, which we chatted further about, before letting conversation move in completely organic ways.  The meal was brief but meaningful and fun.  I hope you might be inspired to enjoy a similar on with your children, soon.

Flashback to Our Easy Pentecost Breakfast Tea

Flashback to 2015

Next Sunday would actually make a fabulous day to try out faith through food.  I know that I plan to revisit some of the food ideas we enjoyed last year at our Pentecost Breakfast Tea!  Replete with symbolic foods, simple decorations, prayers and activities, that meal was a hit.  I just love when I can share faith, food and fun all in one with my children and hope you are inspired to do similarly.

How do you combine faith, food and fun in your home or classroom?  What Pentecost plans are unfolding for this year?


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