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Meals with Jesus - A Family Devotional by Ed Drew

Meals with Jesus - A Family Devotional by Ed Drew
An Interview with the author, Ed Drew

 

What are the challenges of trying to do family Bible times?

Where do I start? For most families, they feel impossible. Opening the Bible with children… how is that going to work? But that’s broadly the story of parenting - a bewildering adventure into the unknown that frequently feels too difficult.

What are the rewards of doing family Bible times?

Miracles happen when the Bible is opened. Predictably. Inevitably. A friend messaged me this week with tears of joy, telling me about a mum in her church who had just led her first ever family Bible time with her teenage children and three foster children, using Meals With Jesus. They had a great discussion. Everyone joined in. That’s a massive win! The stories will vary but no family will be unchanged by opening the Bible together.

There are other family devotions already on the market - what makes yours different?

Plenty of family devotions are full of laughs and facts that mention a Bible verse. Others are full of Bible content but seem like they were written for a different species of family from mine. I wanted to write one that is particularly on the side of hard-pressed parents who haven’t done it before. I want the whole family to have an authentic encounter with Jesus. Isn’t that the prayer of every Christian parent? I long for children to meet Jesus, ponder what He is like, watch how He treats the little guy and start to trust Him.

Is there an overall theme to Meals With Jesus?

The easy answer is that it does what it says on the cover! Through thirty four studies, we see Jesus enjoying eight meals with a whole range of people. Some intimate. Others with thousands. Some are a party. Others are an argument. But each one has the spotlight on Jesus. Sadly, it’s possible to grow up in a Christian home and not know Jesus. Let’s sit our children down with Him and see Him relating to others over meals. They’ll love Him. You’ll all want more of Him.

How is each daily devotion broken down?

Start with a quick chat or a simple activity to get the whole family in the zone. Read a few verses. Ask a question for each age range, so that every child engages. There’s a chance for parents to talk because children need to see their parents wonder, question and doubt. Then pray to finish. Ten minutes. Done. Smashed it. I want every family to leave thinking, ‘We can do this.’

What age range do you consider Meals With Jesus is for?

I’ve done my best to make suggestions so that three year olds can get stuck in. I had a great email today from a family with two, four and six year old boys. They did it! And then there are also questions for teenagers, who want to ask their own questions, to see how living for Jesus is not just possible, but liberating. Family Bible times are a great way to show that Jesus reaches into every life, at every age, bringing love and flourishing.

When do you think is the most suitable time to do it?

Any time that works. I usually try to do them at the start of the day. In lockdown, we’ve been doing it over lunch because it’s less rushed. Some families do them before bed. Each parent is the world expert on their own family. You’re the boss! If it works, keep doing it.

How do you keep it relevant when your family has mixed ages, 5-15?

Each meal has one session called, ‘Hit the heart.’ I take one single thought from that meal and take it to the feelings, the struggles and the smiles of our children. Jesus Christ is not a religion. He is not just a moral teacher. He is the one who loves each of our children more than we do. He understands them more than we do. He can soothe their fears and encourage their greatest gifts, whatever their age. Jesus will always be relevant to each of our children, even if they don’t see it.

What do you pray that families will get out of doing Meals With Jesus together?

I know an adult son who recently texted his mum to say, ‘Doing daily family Bible study is the most precious gift that you gave me and my sisters. It didn’t just teach me to build my life on the Scriptures, it’s the reason I now feel so at home in them.’ It’s my prayer that many more children would grow up to say the same 

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Meals With Jesus (Paperback)
Ed Drew
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