“Layers of Freedom” Fourth of July Lesson & Science Experiment
This lesson doubles as a science experiment, showing kids how to layer liquids in a glass. It also will show them some things on this patriotic holiday about diversity, tolerance and how God uses freedom to keep us strong.
– Clear Karo syrup
– Rubbing Alcohol
– Blue and red food coloring
– Large drinking glass, clear
– Turkey baster
– Three small juice glasses
Before class, fill the three small juice glasses halfway – one with water, one with Karo syrup and one with rubbing alcohol. Color the rubbing alcohol with red food coloring and color the Karo syrup with blue food coloring in two of the small juice glasses. Have the baster and bigger glass nearby.
It used to be that America was called “a Christian nation.” That was because most people who lived here believed in Jesus. The majority were Catholic and Protestant people. But America has some principles about letting all people in.
On the statue of liberty is a sign that reads, “Give me your tired, your poor”¦your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Can anyone take a guess what that sign means? It’s telling the world that anyone is welcome, especially if they are tired and poor and are looking for a new way to live.
Plenty of people come to America for hope, prosperity, and a new start. They come so their kids can go to college. They come because the countries where they were born are poor and don’t provide the opportunities we have here. But! They are not all Christian.
Sometimes we worry about having certain people in our country. Sometimes they worship other gods. They think that their god exists, and they will put up a statue in a place of worship and bow down to it. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, these are the first things he said:
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Why does God so strongly discourage us from worshipping anyone or anything but Him? Let them answer.
The reason is that God created man to have a love relationship with him. That’s the best thing for man, because no life is complete without God. We are designed to be loved by him and love him back.
Think of your mom and dad, having a baby because they wanted a child to love and dote on. That’s very much like God and how he feels about us. What if that child decided he wanted a different mom or dad? Or no momor dad? And he ran away from his loving parents and all the wonderful blessings they had given him, thinking he just wanted to do life his own way? How would those parents feel? Lonely, crushed, sad, heartbroken.
When people worship other gods, they are hurting God’s feelings, and if they know of him, they are being thoughtless and awful.
Here is another good example. How many of you have a dog or a cat that you really love and like to play with? Take answers, pet names and descriptions. What if your cat or dog suddenly decided to go live with another family and quit caring about you and ran away? How would you feel? Awful.
That’s how God feels when we go for long periods without talking to him or we don’t show him any love.
And yet, we welcome people into our country who do not love God. Why should we? Why not just keep it all Christians, and that way we don’t have to deal with anyone’s bad behavior? Because it gives us an opportunity to tell them how much God loves them. Because God loves them anyway.
God’s heart is so huge that he can love people who ignore him or even say bad things about him. He loves people who say, “There IS no God, that’s stupid!” He loves people who say there is some other god, when he knows he’s the only one for them.
He wants us Christians to love these people too, and when they see our love, they have a chance to see God’s love.
There are countries where, if people worship our God, they can be thrown into jail because the governments don’t believe in him and don’t allow people to believe in him. There have always been places in civilization where that is the case.
In our country, we are free. We can worship God in church, on the streets, in our homes. We can watch movies about Jesus, and nobody tries to take them away from us. We can own as many Bibles and Bible story books as we want.
At the same time, other people can come and worship another God or no God and nobody is going to arrest them either. In America we tend to think that “fair is fair!” If we want to worship the way we want, we have to let others do the same.
They may not be right; but they have the right. God uses freedom to serve us, to serve himself, and to draw others to him. Let’s think of it like these glasses:
Pick up the glass with the Karo syrup in it. Let’s pretend that this blue liquid is all the people who worship other gods in this country. Pour the blue Karo syrup into the bottom of the big glass. makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just That means he blesses all people, and we know that these people have good qualities and they work hard and they love their kids and grandkids.
Take up the turkey baster and fill it with water. To get the water into the blue glass without disturbing the blue layer of syrup, stick the end of the baster very close to the side of the glass and let the water stream down.
Let’s say we Christians are like this water. Through the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are made pure – that’s how God sees us. We’re the ones who love him back and speak with him and act like his friends. God promised us in Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” We’re a little like this water – clear and pure, thanks to Jesus.
Put the red rubbing alcohol in the turkey baster and, using the same technique, let it flow down the side of the glass. It will rest on top of the water. Let’s pretend the red symbolizes all those people in America who say they don’t believe in any God.
They’re just out there doing it on their own. We’re using red for them because they make God’s heart weary, and hearts are red. They also have good qualities. They pay their taxes and read good books and give to the poor.
We can all get along together. We can keep showing the love of God by not returning evil for evil and even by telling people about how much God loves them. We don’t have to mix up with their bad ways, though. We can keep ourselves pure even while surrounded by those who might seem a bit threatening.
God designed America so that we can all live side by side. We are all free to worship as we wish. We are safe and secure in his love, no matter what.
Scientifically, we’ve got three liquids here that have three different “densities.” The syrup has the biggest density, meaning it weighs the most. Water weighs more than rubbing alcohol, but less than syrup. That’s how it sits in the middle so nicely.
However, we don’t want to mix up take on the beliefs of others, even though they may seem more colorful.
Shake or stir the liquid just a couple times, so they can see that it turns messy – a purplish color. Looks like a giant bruise, don’t it? It will settle back down again. Watch the colors settle into themselves again.
When we celebrate our freedom today, let’s be sure to remember that it’s our job to show the love of Christ to those who don’t have it – not to mix up with their beliefs. If we love, but don’t fight, and don’t stir up the pot, our freedom will protect us and be a great gift.
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