Children’s Sermon

John 6:51-58

In God’s Care

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John 6:51-58

In God’s Care

by Lois Parker Edstrom

Object suggested: challah bread if available.

Picture of challah bread available at:

Recipe for challah bread available at:

Our Jewish friends eat bread called challah on the Sabbath and other holidays. It is a braided bread made with eggs and other ingredients such as flour, milk, yeast, and salt. Poppy seeds or sesame seeds are sprinkled on top. This bread symbolizes God’s care for the Israelites during the forty years they traveled in the desert.

We find this story in the Old Testament. At the time of Moses the Israelites were driven from Egypt and wandered in the wilderness. They became hungry and wondered how they would find enough food to survive. God said to Moses, “I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day.” (Exodus 16:4)

And that’s what the people did; each day they found a white flaky substance, called manna, sprinkled on the ground and they took enough to last for that day. On the day before the Sabbath they found a double portion; enough to last for that day and for the next day when they rested. The manna was covered with a layer of dew to protect it from dust and from birds that might eat it.

Challah reminds us of God’s care. The seeds on top of the bread symbolize manna. When Jewish people serve challah it is placed on the table and covered with a cloth, just as the manna was covered with dew.

In the New Testament Jesus says, “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (6:51).

Jesus describes himself as “bread that came down from heaven” to remind us that he came from our Father in heaven, just as manna came from heaven to the Israelites. God gave manna to the Israelites and God gives us his son, Jesus, who cares for us and supplies us with what we need to have a good life. We are in His care.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan