Show the children the bag of macaroni and do the following object lesson.
Yum, yum! Look what I have… macaroni! I love macaroni, do you? Would you like a taste of my macaroni?
Give the children some of your dry and uncooked macaroni.
It doesn’t quite look like the macaroni my mother used to make. I wonder if it tastes good. (Eat some macaroni.)
Hum… it seems that something is missing – what do you think these macaroni need? These macaroni were not cooked.
The first thing we need to do is put them in a little water and boil them on top of the stove until they become tender.
Then we have to drain the water and add other things to make the taste good. We have to add some milk and cheese and mix it all together.
Finally, we can put them in the oven and cook them for about 20 minutes to make them au gratin. This will really bring the dry macaroni to life.
These dry macaroni remind me of a story in the Bible. This is the story of the prophet Ezekiel. God took Ezekiel and showed him a valley filled with dry bones. They were scattered everywhere and there was no life in them. God spoke to Ezekiel and asked him, “Can these bones be revived?” Well, Ezekiel didn’t know what to say. “O Lord, ” he said, “only you know the answer to that.” Then God spoke to Ezekiel and said to him, “Speak to these bones, and tell them: Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! Here’s what the Lord says: Look, I’m going to give you flesh and muscle. I’ll cover you with skin, I’ll blow on you and you’ll come to life.”
Ezekiel said the message as God had told him. As he spoke, there was a rattling sound across the valley and the bones came together and formed complete skeletons. Then the muscles and flesh formed on the bones and the skin covered their bodies. Eventually the winds came and filled the bodies with breath and they became alive!
Look at these macaroni again – they’re dry, hard and not very good at all. Looks like nothing can make them good at first glance. But we know that if we boil them for ten minutes and add milk and cheese, we will have something very good.
It’s like that when we face something that’s very hard in our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to think that something good can happen because everything is like in the valley of dry bones. But just as we know that these macaroni can become very good, we know that the difficult things in our lives can completely change. Just as God brought life into the valley of dry bones with the breath of His Holy Spirit, God can change the bad things in our lives and he will do so when we trust him.