Use this kids Sunday school lesson: Memorial Day to help children understand and honor those who’ve served.
1. Shhh: Usher children quietly into a darkened classroom. Keep lights off and windows covered.
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Whisper: “In some parts of the world, going to church is against the law. People who want to learn about God meet secretly.”
Ask: “What do you think that’s like? Are we being quiet enough to avoid being arrested?”
Quietly, say: “This week we’re celebrating Memorial Day. This is a holiday when we remember people who died fighting in wars to protect our country and our freedom. We’re free to worship God here, so there’s no reason to be quiet.”
Turn on the lights and sing a loud song.
2. Rooms in Heaven: Ask: “Has someone you love ever died? We feel sad when we miss them. If these people believed in Jesus, they’re in heaven.”
Read aloud John 14:1-3.
Ask: “What do you think heaven’s like? How do you think Jesus prepared those rooms?”
Say: “Let’s create a picture of what we think heaven’s like.”
Tape newsprint to a wall and provide art supplies to create a mural of heaven. Let children create the rooms they’d like for themselves or for loved ones already in heaven. Talk about the people in heaven now. Explain that while we miss them, we can be happy they’re in a wonderful place.
3. Poppies Galore: Distribute red construction paper.
To make poppies, have children follow these steps: Trace the bottom of a glass to make four circles; cut these out, then gently crumple them; open the circles and poke a green pipe cleaner through their centers as if they were beads; loop the end of the pipe cleaner as a knot, and push the red paper circles toward this knot to make a poppy flower. As kids work, tell them they’re making poppies as reminders of soldiers who died in wars. Red poppies are a symbol for Memorial Day. When the flowers are finished, pray and thank God for people who died for your country. Encourage children to give their flowers to people after class.
Say: “When you give people your poppies, ask them to tell you who they remember on Memorial Day.”
4. Snack: In clear cups, layer sliced strawberries and blueberries. Finish with a dollop of whipped topping and serve to your class, reminding them to be thankful for people who are willing to die for our country.
Say: “Why were you willing to give up your treat? How’s 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?”
Ask: “Would any of you like to give your snack to a student in another class?”
Say: “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 Cheezits or some other snack.) “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.)
Joclyn Wampler is a church volunteer in Oregon.
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