For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. -Hebrews 4:12
As I began this day in prayer and mentally reviewed all the FUN that's on tap, I was humbly reminded of the gift of FREEDOM that I daily take for granted. Though carnival games and parades are delightful, I want my children to exit this weekend with more than fond memories. I want them to be reminded of the GIFT that we are so privileged to celebrate here in America. Even more, I want them to remember the GIFT that we, as believers in Jesus, have received by grace. Just as the bold stripes of America's flag declares our independence, so the stripes on our Savior's back declare our freedom from death. The CROSS, above all, brings freedom.
"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free..." -Galatians 5:1
Somewhere in the midst of frogs and fireworks, I hope to play this simple game with my kids- and any others I can round up:
The object of this game is for the kids to make it from one side of the yard to the other side that has been named "home." Establish boundaries that create a large area for running. Give one person a magic wand in the shape of a cross (twist two pipecleaners together or tie two sticks together to make a cross wand). That person is the established "savior" who can un-freeze any player. Choose someone else to be the "tagger." Tell the remaining kids they must race from one boundary to the next without getting tagged. If they are tagged, they must freeze. If the "savior" touches them with the cross, they are free to continue racing for home, but the savior needs to NOT get tagged. Try to get all the kids home safely. If the savior is tagged, the game will quickly end, as there will be no one to grant freedom. Hmm.. what a great visual of life without Jesus!
Depending on how the games turn out, you can discuss a variety of themes:
Why was the "savior" key to making it home safely?
How did the "tagger" stop your plan to get home?
What happened when the "savior" was eliminated from play?
In our real life, who is like the tagger? (Satan)
Who is our savior? (Jesus)
How does the cross REALLY set us free (Christ died for our sins so we can be pure and blameless in God's sight. Christ's work on the cross gets us HOME to heaven safely)
What happened when the savior was tagged in the game? (He/she got out and then the players had no way to get home once they'd been tagged)
Can our real Savior ever be "taken out" of the game, like our player was? (NO)
If Jesus hadn't died on the cross, would anyone make it "home" to Heaven? (NO)
Take time to thank Jesus for being our FREEDOM FIGHTER!
If you're looking for some marvelously creative ideas to celebrate our nation's birthday, check out my dear friend, Sherri's, blog at http://pettiskirtsandmudpies.blogspot.com/
Happy Fourth of July!