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Archive for February, 2012

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood…. You shall cover it with pure gold, within and without, and you shall make on it a golden crown all around.” (Exodus 25:10–11)
“You shall make a table of acacia wood…. You shall cover it with pure gold and you shall make for it a gold crown all around.” (Exodus 25:23–24)

Questions: Why do we encounter two crowns in Chapter 25 – one crown around an ark, and another around a table? This seems very strange. What could be the significance? What furniture in your house should be crowned? Is there a reason to crown something other than a person? What does a crown represent?

Ideas: Cut crown shapes out of puff pastry dough, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake until golden. Shape bread dough into a round crown shape. Spread a golden table cloth on your table and make some home-made paper crowns for decoration.

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“You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread as I have commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of springtime, for then you left Egypt…. And the festival of the harvest of the first fruits of your labors that you sow in the field, and the festival of the ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your work from the field.” (Exodus 23:15–16)

Questions: Why are so many of our holidays connected to food? Why are they always connected to a specific time of year? What is the significance of the harvest? What is so special about the number seven? Is it central to our lives? Why?

Ideas: Any bountiful spread of produce will do. Serve everything at your table in multiples of seven. Invite seven guests! Incorporate some or all of the seven species into your meal, make a seven layer salad, purchase or make a seven-layer cake, or make your favorite holiday dish!

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“The people remained far off, but Moses drew near to the thick cloud, where God was.” (Exodus 20:17)

Questions: Why did the people remain far away? Do you think you would have wanted to be close to the mountain? Why did God appear in a thick cloud? Why not in a pillar of fire? Aren’t clouds a little gloomy?

Ideas: Serve marshmallows, dark chocolate, chocolate covered marshmallows, and anything with whipped cream (which you can darken a bit with cinnamon or cocoa powder for effect!). Purchase or make meringues, or serve fruit with whipped cream to represent the “thick clouds.” Any “dark” chocolate dessert can be used to represent the “darkness,” and serving plenty of alcohol will be sure to make everyone a little “foggy”!

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“The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, it was white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey.” (Exodus 16:31)

Questions: What was manna? Why was it called by that name? What types of food do we eat the resemble or remind you of manna? If you could eat something that tasted every day like something else what would it be? What texture would it have? How do you eat differently on the weekends? What is your double portion?

Ideas: Use coriander to spice up your food in any recipe, add cilantro (the leaves of the coriander plant) to your salad, serve tofu or any other bland white food that resembles manna, you can serve honey-glazed doughnuts for dessert!

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