Feeding the Five Thousand – Sunday School of 1900

I have posted several examples of Sunday School materials from denominational publishing houses.

The example today is from the David C. Cook company.

Founded in Chicago in 1875, the company was formed to provide low-cost publications for children who were left homeless by the Great Fire that destroyed much of the city.

The young David C. Cook was an early supporter of the Sunday School movement which had broad aims of educational enrichment in addition to promoting religious formation.

Because of this support of an entire movement, the David C. Cook Company never identified with a particular denomination.

The lesson today was designed for Sunday Schools on June 17, 1900.  It was the 22nd year of the company’s Sunday School curriculum.

In the illustration, Jesus stands and watches while the disciples carry large baskets of loaves and fishes to the hungry multitude who had spent the day listening to His discourse.

The miraculous feeding of the Five Thousand is one of the most-common illustrations of stories from the Gospels.

The miracle is understood as a manifestation of Divine love and nurture, and a prefiguring of the celebration of Holy Communion.

Like the examples of denominational publications shared earlier, this full-color print has a Bible verse to be remembered, the relevant portion of the Biblical text, and a short catechism to help the student remember the meaning of the event pictured.

Hundreds of thousands of children collected these Sunday School cards in Protestant Sunday Schools of the early 20th century.

Many were saved through the students’ lifetimes and can be found today.


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