you have special plans this week? It’s already the middle of the
summer and we celebrate “The 4th of July” or
“Independence Day.” Is there a possibility that you will see
fireworks this week?
I thought it
would be fun to try to learn our message today from the Bible and
from two of the Founding Fathers of the
who signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams who
convinced Congress to sign the Declaration and Thomas Jefferson
who wrote it.
First from the
Bible in the New Testament, Paul told the people in
... (Read the text from above).
Paul even way
back then told people they were called to a free life and to do
what Jesus always told us “To love others as you love
How do the
Founding Fathers help teach the lesson from Paul? John Adams the
second President of the
and Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the
always were on opposite sides of everything. Let’s play a little
game to better understand how they disagreed with each other. The
opposite of black is _____ (white). If John said round, Tom would
say ______ (square) If Tom said up, John would say ____? If John
would say yes, Tom would say?
After they had
disagreed on almost everything for a lifetime, in their later
years, the twilight of their lives the two former Presidents wrote
letters to each other constantly. John Adams lived in
and Thomas Jefferson in
. One night John Adams brought a letter from Thomas Jefferson to
read to his children and they asked him why he was so friendly now
with Mr. Jefferson. He said, “I believe Mr. Jefferson always
liked me, he wished to be President of the
and I stood in his way. So he did everything he could do to pull
me down. This is human nature… I forgive all my enemies and hope
they find mercy in Heaven. Mr. Jefferson and I have grown old and
retired from public life. So we are upon our ancient terms of
remember that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both loved to read
and John grew up reading the Bible every Thursday through Sunday
morning. He probably read the same verses from Paul that we read
earlier. I’m sure he read many times, “Love others as you love
celebrating the 231st anniversary of the signing of the
Declaration of Independence this week. 181 years ago on the 50th
anniversary both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were in big
demand as two of the three last original signers. They were
invited to come to
to be the guest of honor in the parades and watch the fireworks.
They were both old and not feeling very well. They politely
thanked all who invited them and decided to stay home.
On that July 4th
in 1826, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died.
Adams and Thomas Jefferson both had died on the same day, the
Fourth of July, “was a sign of ‘Divine favor,” the
President, at the time, put in his diary. The President was John
Quincy Adams the son of John Adams.
all my enemies and hope they find mercy in heaven” said John
Adams. “Rather, use your
freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.”
from the Apostle Paul.
Jesus, Thank you for your Apostle Paul. Help us to see how his
words helped many others in their faith, including the Founding
Fathers of our country. Amen
Pictures of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Screen-same as prop
This story is inspired and taken from David McCullough’s book John
Adams Copyright © by David McCullough, A Touchstone Book
Published by Simon and
Bode, Director of Children’s Ministries
St. John’s United Church of Christ
Grand Rapids, MI
Bill also host the website www.childrenssermons.net