We recently purchased a cute hot dog maker to use with the kiddos. It’s so fun, and we couldn’t wait to try it out.  Hot dogs are usually eaten in the summer at picnics or ball games.  But what about having hot dogs with the kids in January, picnic style, in front of the fire while learning about the “length” of his love!  Purchase those bun length franks, some buns and toppings, and you’re set up to learn about the great love of God.

Preparation:  Set up a hot dog station, and include Nathan’s Hot Dogs if you can find them, along with buns and toppings.  Have a tape measure or ruler available.

About how long is your hot dog? (Let the kids guess and then measure).  Can you guess how long God’s arms are? Isaiah 59:1 says Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save…” That means it extends all the way around the world to the farthest reach to every person. Those are some long arms!

Do you love everything about hot dogs? (Let the kids talk about their own individual toppings and how each person is different, but that’s the beauty of hot dogs – we can customize them to our taste!)  Did you know that God loves the whole world and has us all in his hands, no matter our differences? John 3:16 reminds us that God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that if we believe we have eternal life! 

Have you ever wondered who invented the hot dog?  Hot dogs, or frankfurters, originated in Germany. But the man who popularized them in the U.S. was Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant.  He lived on hot dogs for a year and saved $300 slicing buns, until he was able to have his own stand. He charged half of his competitor’s prices, 5 cents, and people flocked to his stand – and Nathan’s Hot Dogs were born!  The greatest inventor of all time, however, is God!  It says in Genesis 1 that he created the heavens and the earth. That means he created Nathan and he created you and me!

What is your favorite topping? Mustard and ketchup are the most common condiments for hot dogs, as well as relish and chili.  Or do you just prefer plain?  Did you know God doesn’t have a favorite, because he loves us all so much? In Ephesians 2 it says that God is rich in mercy and because of his great love (limitless love!) he gave to us, the gift of eternal life – even though death was our sure sentence because of sin!  He tops us with his love, all of us equally.  He loves you, he loves me, and his taste is all-encompassing.  If he were to enjoy a hot dog, he’d probably top it with everything on the table!

Have you heard of a hot dog song?  People often exclaim “Hot Dog!” when they’re excited about something that has just happened.  Maybe they found a missing piece to a puzzle, or won a contest.  They  might jump up and down and exclaim, “Hot Dog!” Did you know there’s a really old song called “Hot Diggity Dog” that was sun almost 80 years ago? Take a listen!  That’s exactly what God sings about us every time he sees our face. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “He delights in us! The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Who knew that eating hot dogs could teach us so much about the length of God’s great love, how he created us to be loved by Him, and how excited He gets over long us, His creation!

Hot  Dog!
by Marcy Lytle

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