Peace. It seems to elude us. Why is that so? I hope this craft and some thoughts I have help you learn to teach about peace to your kids. This is the peace week in our character development series. The word “peace” is our focus and then the bombings and now manhunt in Boston happen. We also have the kindergarten shooting in Connecticut still weighing heavily on our hearts. We can look at the bombing at the Boston marathon. The men were Russian. Is that the problem? The men were Muslim. Is that the problem? The Connecticut shooter was mentally ill. Is that the problem? The problem, in its rawest form, is that they are humans and sinners – broken without Jesus. Guess what…so are we. Peace will continue to elude us until Christ returns and establishes his kingdom. There will not be global peace on this earth until that time. However, I’m here to be a voice that you can have peace within your heart. So, does this craft represent a peace among all nations that I believe is possible with our own power? No, it does not. This craft is really speaking to our verse found in Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men.” As much as we can, we are called to try and live at peace with one another. This is peace across cultures, geographic boundaries, languages, within families and spread across the globe. It is an individual decision based on the peace we receive as we enter into a relationship with Jesus. Peace cannot flow out of us and into our relationships until we grasp onto Jesus, who is the perfect “Prince of Peace.” This craft was meant to teach my kids that once they receive the Lord’s peace, they are to spread it by making every attempt to live at peace with others. We all love the concept of peace. If you, too, hope for peace within your own lives and across the globe, let me help you fall in love with Jesus and his heart on the topic.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
“”Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” – John 14:27
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace…” John 16:33
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” – Luke 6:27
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
There are so many more statements from Jesus about loving others and living as one with others. Some may question the peace statement because of Jesus saying, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” – Matthew 10:34-36 I believe this verse means that people will be divided because some members of the family will choose to believe in Jesus while others will basically ex-communicte them because they do. We have seen this in religion since the beginning of time. However, despite how people respond to us, we are called to live in peace as long is it is possible. Here are some other scriptures about peace:
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” -2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” – 1 Peter 3:11
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” – 1 Peter 3:9-11
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15
There are a lot more passages on peace, so I’ll leave you with those. I’d encourage you in the study and pursuit beyond this. Why don’t we have peace on earth? People don’t know Jesus. Have you experienced that peace? Are you actively seeking it with others because of the grace you have been given? The truth is that peace can elude believers as well because A) We aren’t fully relying on God. B) We are sinful. C) Our heart is set on heaven and this world will never satisfy. It’s great that we can dwell in Christ’s forgiveness and live in hope for a future peace – peace in our own lives and peace in relationships with others. I believe we can experience more and more of that peace in our own lives as we seek to know the Lord more.
As we were doing this craft, I was able to explain some of this at some level to my own kids. I talked about how we are called to be living with people from different tribes, tongues and nations across this earth. We looked at the flags and talked about how there are a variety of people that God created. What makes them valuable? The fact that God made them. Therefore, we learn to overflow in God’s love for them and live in peace with them, despite our differences. We try and embrace and spread Christ’s peace as we are given it so freely.
Ready for the craft instructions?
I made you a PRINTABLE! Did I miss your country? I’m so sorry. I couldn’t include them all. Just choose an image of the flag of your choice and make in the size of a half of a piece of paper. I intentionally included some countries that don’t seem to be at peace with others right now.
Flip the paper over. You will be able to see the flag through the paper. Trace your child’s hand on the back of the flag.
The final step is to stick the hands onto a foam wreath. I had this one already covered in twine from a going away party I threw for a friend a while back. You could cover one in yarn, twine or just leave it blank, covering it with the flags. I had Kenzie choose the flags and attach them with stick pins. If you don’t have a wreath, you can easily stick these hands in a circle straight on a wall or glue them on a tag board you cut out. The circle I love because it represents unity to me.