Fish & Bread for Dinner
After kneading the dough, Mother placed it in a large, greased bowl and covered it with a damp towel. Glancing at her watch, she made a mental note of when the dough would be ready to form into loaves. Mother unbuckled Josh and lifted him out of the high chair. “Come on, girls,” she said to Natalie and Jessie. “Let’s go outside where it’s cool while the dough rises.”
Mother pushed Josh in the swing while the girls played in the sandbox. “Let’s make mud pies,” Natalie said to Jessie as she ran to fill her beach bucket with water. Natalie poured the water while Jessie mixed the sand. Jessie then picked up a handful of wet sand and formed it into a ball.
“That’s enough water,” Jessie said holding out the ball. “See, it holds its shape.” Natalie put the bucket of water down and grabbed her own handful of wet sand and began patting it into a round mud pie. “I’m going to make bread,” Jessie said. “Just like Mommy.” Jessie formed five little loaves of bread and placed them in the sun to dry. “Look, Mommy,” she called. “I made five loaves of bread. I’m going to pretend I’m giving them to Jesus to feed the five thousand!”
“I want to play too,” Natalie said. “I’ll make the two fishes.” Natalie formed two balls of wet sand into the shape of fishes and placed them next to Jessie’s loaves of bread. “Now, pretend Jesus blessed it,” Natalie said to her sister. “Hurry, Jessie. Make more bread while I make more fishes.” The two girls
spent the next hour making bread and fishes out of wet sand.
Mother checked her watch. “I need to go in the house to finish making the bread,” she told the girls. “And Josh needs his nap. Do you want to come?”
“We’re muliplying our bread and fishes,” Jessie replied.
“You’ve mul-ti-plied, Mother corrected, “so many already you’re going to run out of sand!”
“Jesus didn’t run out of bread and fishes when He fed the five thousand,” Natalie replied, “and we won’t run out either.”
Mother smiled. “I’ll leave you two to your multiplying,” she said, “But don’t leave the yard.”
Mother kneaded the dough one more time and started to form it into two big loaves. Then she had an idea. Instead of two large loaves she formed it into five small loaves and placed them on a baking sheet.
When Father got home from work the smell of fresh baked bread filled the kitchen. “Hmmm. It smells like heaven in here,” he said to Mother before giving her a kiss on the cheek.
“Funny you should say that,” Mother said, explaining her plans for FHE to him.
When it was time for dinner, Father announced that they were going to have FHE at the table tonight. “Will you say the prayer and blessing on the food, Jessie? And will you lead the song, Natalie?” he asked.
Jessie’s stomach growled during the prayer, she squirmed while Father read the scripture and she didn’t sing with her usual enthusiasm. “Do we get to eat before we have the lesson,” she whined. “I’m starving.”
“We’re going to eat and have the lesson at the same time,” Mother said before getting up to get the fresh baked loaves of bread while Father placed the two sizzling Tilapia on a platter.
“Look, Jessie! Five loaves of bread and two fishes!” Natalie exclaimed.
“Mommy, would you give your bread and fishes to Jesus if He asked you to, so He could feed the five thousand?” Jessie asked.
“I would like to think so, Jessie, but tonight, we’re going to feed the five of us,” Mother answered. “Physically and spiritually, I hope.”
While the family ate they discussed the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand. “Jesus was very kind to serve the hungry multitude, wasn’t He?” Father asked. “But do you know what Jesus did that was even more important?”
“He raised Lazarus from the dead?” Jessie answered.
“And He healed the sick,” Natalie added.
“Those are wonderful miracles. Aren’t they? But what is more important is that He gave us the bread of life,” Father stated. “Just like this food we are eating is nourishing our bodies, we need to nourish our spirits with the bread of life.”
“Jesus said He was the bread of life,” Natalie said. “But I’m not sure what that means.”
“I think the scriptures can help us understand it better, Natalie,” Father said, opening the Bible and reading
John 6:50-51. “‘This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’”
“This means that Jesus gave His life for us that we can live forever and if we believe in Him and do all we can to live the way He has taught us then we will not only live forever, but have eternal life,” Mother explained. “Eternal Life is to live forever as families in God’s presence. It is God’s greatest gift to man.”
The family then discussed ways they can nourish their spirits.
Natalie’s tummy was filled with the good food. While she listened to what she was being taught her heart felt so full she thought it might burst. “I think when we have Family Home Evening, we are eating bread from heaven!” she exclaimed in awe.
by Margie Nauta Lee