Grace Food: Pretzel Object Lesson
Ages: Ages toddler to teen
Objective: For students to have a concrete image to aid them in understanding God’s redemptive plan
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Bread Machine (or mix dough manually)
1) Prepare Pretzel Dough. (I use the following recipe and mix the ingredients in my bread machine on the dough cycle. Not sure exactly how you would prepare the dough manually)
3 cups bread flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
(Makes 6-8 large pretzels)
(Layer in bread machine according to manufacturers instructions; usually liquid, dry, and then yeast)
2) Give each student a piece of dough. Tell them you are going to tell them a story about God’s Grace and Love. Ask the students about the beginning of the world. Where did the story of Man begin? When students start talking about the Garden of Eden be sure to ask them to describe the garden. Be sure to emphasis that the garden was perfect, and that people and God were able to live close to each other.
3) Ask students what went wrong in the Garden of Eden. As you have a discussion about how the devil, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve, ask the students to create a snake out of their dough. Discuss how sin entered the world and men and women were banished from the garden and thus separated from God.
4) Next, discuss God’s plan to redeem man and solve the problem of sin. Read the following verse: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). Ask students who this ‘head crusher’ is? Who is God going to send to destroy the devil and sin once and for all: Jesus! Younger students will enjoy ‘crushing’ their snake’s head. You may discuss tools for not falling into the temptation of sin, and ways to resist the devil.
5) Next, explain that although men and women are sinners, God still loves us. Read John 3:16, “For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son that whoever shall believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” So, God can redeem this ugly snake, the sins’ of man, through love. Students can take their snake, and turn it into a heart, thus forming a pretzel!
6) Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a large pot of boiling water. Place each pretzel in the water for about 10 seconds, and then place on a greased baking sheet.
7) Brush each pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with sea salt.
8) Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until pretzels are thoroughly cooked. (cooking time will depend on how thick your pretzels are–just regularly check them so they don’t burn)
9) Serve pretzels warm, with dipping sauce of your choice. Be sure to give thanks to God for His unfailing love and grace!
A Few Notes:
* Monks used the pretzel to represent God’s love in the middle ages, this is not my idea–I just modified it slightly.
* This lesson can be modified for any age. I have done it with toddlers and high school students. Just engage the students in age appropriate discussions regarding sin.
* If you have the time, pretzels can be left to rise for one hour after they are formed, and before they are boiled. I usually skip this step and do not notice a difference, as long as the dough has been allowed to rise before hand.