Looking for meaningful ways to add to your Memorial Day messages this weekend? Here are 3 easy-but-awesome ideas you can use now.
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1. Memorial Day Outreach: Remembrance (John 15:12-13)
Work with parents to commemorate Memorial Day and teach kids about this important day of remembrance. Invite families to spend an afternoon at a local cemetery and clean up neglected graves. Bring work gloves, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
As you work, talk about what Jesus said in John 15:12-13 about laying down one’s life for friends. Pause to observe the National Moment of Remembrance, a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m., to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.
2. Memorial Day Game: Movement Memory (Deuteronomy 4:9)
Stand in a large circle of 10 or more. Say: Be careful! Watch closely so you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen. Don’t let them slip from your heart—as long as you live!
Say your full name, first and last, while doing some kind of unique movement. For example, you could say your name while lifting your right leg and hitting your knee with your hand for every syllable.
Say: Now, let’s teach these to our children and to their children after them. Have the person to your right repeat your name and action, then say his or her full name and add one unique action. Continue around the circle, having kids each repeat everyone’s name and action before them, then adding their name and action.
After making it around the circle, ask:
• What was easy or hard about remembering everyone’s name and action?
• What kinds of things do you think are important to remember about loved ones?
Read aloud Deuteronomy 4:9. Say: This Scripture is Moses talking to the people of Israel, asking them to follow the Ten Commandments that God just gave him. He was urging the people to never forget what they’ve seen and to teach their kids and their kids’ kids all about God. It was very important for them to remember what Moses told them. In the same spirit, Memorial Day is a time for us to remember those who’ve fought and died for our country and our freedoms. We remember why people are willing to die for other people’s freedoms.
Ask kids to tell about any friends or family members they have serving in the armed forces or who’ve died while serving. Then pray, thanking God for the men and women who’ve given their lives for our freedom.
3. Memorial Day Snack: What Would You Give? (Romans 5:6-8)
Text: Romans 5:6-8 in the Living Bible
Preparation: Fill a cup for each child with a different trail mix ingredient, such as raisins, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. You’ll also need a large bowl.
Say: I’ve brought a special treat today. I’ll pass it out, but don’t eat yet. (Distribute cups.) What
did you get? Those sound yummy. (Bring out bowl.) If we put our snacks into this bowl, we can taste everyone’s snack.
Are you willing to give up your treat so others can have a tasty snack? Let’s try it. (Have children pour their snacks in the bowl. Then mix.)
Why were you willing to give up your treat? How does it feel to know others will enjoy a yummy snack because of what you gave up? Soon we’ll celebrate Memorial Day. That’s when we remember all the American men and women who died serving our country. Why do you think they gave their lives?
You gave up your treat so friends could enjoy something special. That’s like the men and women who gave their lives so we could enjoy living in America. God gave something special for us, too. (Read the Scripture.) God gave his Son, Jesus, so we could enjoy eternal life in heaven. (Distribute cups of trail mix.) As you eat your special treat, remember that many brave Americans gave their lives for our country. Let’s thank God for the wonderful sacrifice he made for us, too. (Close in prayer.)
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