This article is also posted at Amazing Catechists
"Y'all remind me please, who did God tell to get out of town last week? Elijah! Yes, why? 'Cause he told the King there would be a drought. Yes. And if God tells you to leave town on short notice during a drought, what would you soon be needing? Water! Yes, and...food! Yes. "So he went and did according to the word of the LORD; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank from the brook." (1Kings17)
Someone else remind me what the Israelites needed while they were in the desert. Water! Yes, and...food! Yes...how'd they get those things? Moses hit the rock with his stick and water came out. Yes, and? They had manna. Yes, which was...fried chicken? Well, wasn't it bread? Yes, sort of. God had said he'd rain down bread on them, and what "rained down" was manna. What other food did God provide? No guesses? Remember when the Israelites complained to Moses about being hungry they said, "in the land of Egypt...we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full." So what did they want besides bread? Umm...flesh? Yes, but in modern English what would we say? Meat! Yes. Somebody decirme, cómo se llama "meat" en Español; how do you say "meat" in Spanish? Carne! Yes. And how do you say "flesh" in Spanish? Ummm...I think that's carne, too. Yes. In English we have two words for that idea. One Bible will say "meat" when another says "flesh". Spanish doesn't have that problem, it's always carne, like in carnivorous. But I think it's better if English Bibles say "flesh" as we'll see in a minute. But first, y'all remind me what flesh God gave the Israelites. Ravens! Close, another bird. Quail! Yes, quail flesh, quail meat.
So God gave the Israelites bread and...flesh! Yes, and He gave Elijah...bread and flesh! Yes, the same. When the Bible says things the same way on different occasions, you should understand that they are related. For example, did the Israelites walk on wet mud when they crossed the Red Sea? No, dry ground! Yes, and Elijah crossed the Jordan on...dry ground! Yes.
By the way, when God provides people bread and flesh like that, what's it called? A miracle? Yes, a miracle. And speaking of bread and flesh miracles, can anyone tell me a Jesus bread and flesh miracle? When he made the loaves and fishes? Mmm, good guess, but fish don't count as meat, as flesh. Another guess? No? Sometimes 6th-graders get this. OK, later on we'll cover Jesus' bread and flesh miracle. When we get to it, remember these other ones. Yes, what? What's the miracle? Nuh-uh, if y'all can't guess, I'm not telling. Just pay attention when it comes up later on.
New review topic: what's this? A stick. Gosh, really? Think some more. Moses' stick! Yes. Tell us about it. He hit the rock and water came out. Yes, and? He parted the water! Yes, so the Israelites could cross on...dry ground! Yes.
And what's this? Your coat. C'mon, y'all don't play dumb. It's Elijah's coat! Yes, his cloak. So tell it. They hit the water with it and it parted. Yes...what water? The Jordan River. Yes. And Elijah and Elisha crossed...on dry ground! Yes.
And this is...Elijah's bone! Close...Elisha's bone! Yes, somebody tell it please. They threw the dead man on his bones and he came back to life. Right. Yes? That's a chicken bone. Yes, use your imagination. If you don't have any imagination you can't be in this class. What do all three of these things have in common: the stick, the cloak, and the bone? They're all stuff? Yes, genius, they're all stuff! Yes. And would any of those miracles have worked without this stuff being involved? No! Right. God's power went through His creation, His stuff. What are we made of [I draw the Gingerbread Man]? A body'n'soul! Yes, and our bodies are made of...stuff! Yes. Our bodies are stuff. Now when people experience God through miracles like the ones that go with the stick, cloak, and bone, pieces of stuff, is it through the soul or the body? The body? Yes, they're just physical miracles. Dogs don't have eternal souls, but even a dog could have crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground or eaten a quail. But if we were just souls without bodies, that sort of miracle wouldn't mean much to us.
Body'n'Soul, aka The Gingerbread Man
Remind me again, we're a...body'n'soul. Yes. So if we want to have a complete miraculous experience of God we'd want to have it with which parts? Well, both parts? Yes. But these Old Testament miracles just affect people's... bodies? Yes. But Jesus left us with some miracles that let us experience God body and soul. Can y'all think of one? No guesses? What's the water miracle we do in church? Ummm...baptism? Right...yes, what? Is baptism a miracle? Well...tell me what happens. You pour the water and the sins are gone. Yes. Washing away sins with water is pretty miraculous, isn't it? I guess so, but baptism's a sacrament, not a miracle. That's a good point, but maybe Baptism is both a sacrament and a miracle, and we're just so used to it that we don't notice. We can't see the miraculous part of a sacrament, but it's still there. By the way, if there's no water is it ok if the priest just pretends to pour water? No! Right, the miracle won't work without the stuff. We are spirit'n'stuff, so the sacraments are...spirit'n'stuff too! Yes.
When we get to Jesus in a couple of weeks we'll see him work some physical miracles, but also some that are physical and spiritual. I want y'all to be able to tell them apart, so keep an eye out for that."
The above review took about 10 minutes. Probably half of the time we were applying new ideas to the old material in preparation for Jesus and the New Testament.