Last summer I planned a series for our church’s Sunday morning children’s program called PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: Sparking Faith Conversations using Picture Books and Scripture. Each week, using an engaging picture book as the spark, along with games and a craft, children ages 3 – 10 delved into Scripture as we investigated what it means to be a beloved child of God. The kids enjoyed the lessons so much that I have decided to keep up with an occasional blog series focusing on picture books that can be used as the spark for conversations about faith with your children. Today’s lesson uses MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS (Harvest House Publishers, 2020), written by Tina Cho and illustrated by Guy Wolek as the picture book hook. I hope it sparks thoughtful conversations with your kids.
Note: Since at the time I write this, most churches are still gathering virtually, rather than in person, this lesson is designed for a zoom-like format. I hope it provides and engaging opportunity for your kids to get excited about their faith, virtually. Blessings, all!
PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: A Faith-Sparking Lesson
MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS
by Tina Cho
PURPOSE: To recognize that just as Jesus and his disciples gathered around meals to fellowship and pray, children and families around the world still gather to start the day with breakfast and a prayer – with Jesus! After exploring Cho’s engaging text and Wolak’s colorful illustrations, we’ll delve into Scripture to see what Jesus had to say about prayer as well as take a peek at Jesus’ most famous prayer, using it as a model for our closing prayer.
OPENING PRAYER AND GATHERING ACTIVITY:
(When you send the invitation for your virtual lesson, tell the kids that they’ll be having breakfast together (virtually) in Sunday school and to come ready to share what they are eating.)
Open the actual lesson in prayer, then explain that since today we’ll be reading a story about breakfasts, we thought it would be fun to see what we are each eating this morning. Then have a breakfast “show and tell.”
INTRODUCE THE STORY:
Introduce the story by showing the book cover. Read the title together. Ask them what they think it means to have breakfast with Jesus. How is that possible? Next, look at the cover illustration and wonderful end pages. What do they show? Do they recognize any of the foods shown? Based on their responses, ask them to predict what the story will be about. Then read the story.
FAITH-SPARKING CHAT TIME:
After the first spread, ask is this like your breakfast? What’s different? Marvel at how amazing it would be to actually get to eat with Jesus. Point out the box in the bottom that shows the story in the Bible that inspired this scene – and Tina Cho’s book!
Then, for this and each of the following spreads, marvel at the wonderful diversity of breakfasts and children eating those breakfasts. But what do they all have in common? They are all eaten by people of love Jesus and want to share His love with others!
Ask the children why they think Tina Cho wrote the book. Allow time for responses, concluding together that maybe it was to remind us that Jesus loves ALL his children – and wants us to keep spreading spreading His love to others each and every day – and that breakfast and prayer time with Jesus is a great way to start each day.
DIG INTO SCRIPTURE TIME:
Wrap up the discussion by digging into scripture to find examples of what Jesus had to say about prayer. Ponder together how each can inspire us to pray at breakfast —or anytime! Use these verses to get you started:
Mark 11:24 Luke 6:27 – 28 Matthew 6:9 -13 (The Lord’s Prayer)
STORY-BASED FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITY:
Before closing in prayer, explain that you will be putting together a Breakfast With Jesus Recipe Book for the group. Each child who wishes to participate should send you (and you can give these details in a follow up email) a picture of their favorite breakfast, along with a simple instructions for making it, and a short prayer that can be said before eating it. Once you have everyone’s pictures, recipes and prayer, create a simple document to share. It will be a lovely and tasty memento to remember the story and it’s wonderful message of the joy that is found in diversity and the sharing of Jesus’ love.
Sample Recipe and Prayer
Steel Cut Oats with Berries
- With a parent’s help for the stove, prepare oatmeal according to package instructions.
- Spoon cooked oatmeal into a bowl and top with butter, brown sugar and berries. Enjoy!
Thank you for this beautiful morning and the gift of a hot breakfast. I pray that it gives me the energy to share your love with my neighbors today. I love you, Jesus! Thank you for loving me. Amen.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TINA CHO and her wonderful books.
[Note: Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for this complimentary book that I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]