Taste and See
Sensing God in the world
by Helen Bryant (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To consider how we sense God.
Preparation and materials
- You will need some pots of baby food with specific tastes such as banana and apple, some blindfolds and some spoons.
- You will also need some volunteers to taste the foods – please be aware of allergies and the school policies. (It may be a good idea to prearrange specific volunteers so that allergy information can be checked and the volunteers can be briefed as to their role.)
- Have available the means to display the Bible verse, ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good’ found in Psalm 34.8.
- Ask the volunteers to come forward, blindfold them and then show the pots of baby food to the other students.
Explain that the volunteers are going to taste some foods and answer the following questions.
- What are they eating?
- What flavours can they taste?
- Do they like the taste?
- Explain that the volunteers have been blindfolded because you want to consider the meaning of a verse in the Bible that states, ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good.’
Show the Bible verse, ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good’.
These words come from one of the psalms in the Old Testament. The psalms are songs addressed to God, or to other people about God. Often, they are songs of praise and trust. In these words from Psalm 34, we are asked to look upon God with our senses.
- There are many philosophers who have said that God cannot be experienced empirically, that is, by our five senses of taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. However, if we look at the world around us, this world that God has created for us, we find that we can access God in an empirical manner.
We probably experience God through our senses without even realizing it. For instance, we can taste the delicious food, drink, fruits and vegetables that God has put there for us to enjoy.
Think about the children during the Second World War who had never tasted a banana. What must they have thought when they were first given one to eat?
Let’s think about our favourite foods, and then be aware that they have been grown and created for us.
- Our sense of touch enables us to know whether things are safe or dangerous. It tells us, for example, whether things are hot or cold and whether things are hard or soft. If we touch something hot, we know that we should take our hand away from it.
- Our sight shows us the beauty of a sunny day, a rainbow against grey clouds, the magic of a painting and the majesty of a mountain range.
- Our hearing enables us to listen to music, whether it’s a classical piece by Mozart or a song by our favourite band. We can appreciate someone’s God-given talents by listening to them when they sing or play an instrument.
- Our sense of smell enables us to appreciate the scent of roses, lemons, oranges and freshly cut grass.
Time for reflection
Let’s think about what we’ve just heard. Think of something in the world that God created that you particularly like to see, touch, taste, smell or hear.
Pause to allow time for thought.
By experiencing the world around us with our five senses, we can ‘taste and see’ that God is good, that creation is good.
Let’s all experience the world as much as we can. Let’s embrace the world with our senses.
Please help us to taste and see life and the world with all its sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells.
Thank you that the world we live in is so wonderful.
Please help us to care for it and protect it.
Please help us to sustain it for future generations.