Patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July give Sunday school teachers an opportunity to draw connections between the celebration of American independence and Christian freedom in Christ as proclaimed in John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed." "God Bless America" Sunday school crafts remind children to be thankful for the freedoms with which God has blessed this country because of the founding fathers' faithfulness. Rather than promoting imperialistic, ethnocentric thinking, patriotic Bible lessons should remind students to pray for government leaders and God's guidance on the social and political issues of the day.
Caretakers of Creation
Repeatedly in scripture, God promises blessings to those who obey His word. John 14:21 states, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." One of the first commands God gave humanity was to be the caretakers of his creation. A patriotically painted bird feeder reminds children that they should practice a heart of gratitude for God's gift of freedom by taking care of his creatures. Paint a chip canister in red and white stripes and two heavy-duty paper plates blue. Write "God Bless America" around the canister and decorate the plates with silver stars. Recycle the plastic lid. Drill several holes along the lower edge to let birdseed come out and two just under the top rim opposite one another. Punch two holes about an inch apart in one blue paper plate. Invert the plate over the open end of the canister, loop a cord through the holes and tie for a hanger. The plate should slide up and down easily for refilling the birdseed. Bolt the other plate to the bottom edge and fill the canister with birdseed. Hang in an outdoor location where students can remember to be thankful for God's provision and blessing.
"God Bless America" Poster
Home décor crafts can give children a daily prayer reminder to invoke God's blessing for wisdom on government leaders. Cut a large heart and several small stars out of white craft foam. Cut blue and red craft foam into stripes and a blue field that fits the white background. Glue the pieces in a flag pattern, with stars on a field of blue and red and white stripes. Use stick-on foam letters to spell out "God Bless America." Hang a placard from the bottom edge that reads "Pray for all men, for kings and all who are in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-2."
Galatians 5:13 reminds children that freedom is a gift that should not be abused or misused: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Print this verse on one side of a paper strip and "God Bless America" on the other side. Decorate with patriotic designs and loop one end around a pencil. Fasten with glue or tape to make a pencil flag.
Everyday Freedom Reminders
Remind children to be thankful whether they are going out, coming in or sitting to read. Make patriotic bookmarks and door wreaths out of foam or paper. Cut out a bookmark shape and decorate with stars, stripes or other red, white and blue patriotic symbols and add the "God Bless America" caption. Write any of the freedom scripture verses on the back. To make a wreath, cut a large cardboard ring and cover with red, white and blue foam or paper stars. Hang a "God Bless America" placard in the center or write the caption in the stars and put a freedom scripture on the placard.
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