Although considered one of the major prophets, Jeremiah is less familiar to most church members than many of his counterparts. Help children understand the story of Jeremiah better by accompanying Bible lessons with craft projects. The book of Jeremiah is long, so it is advisable to divide the stories out over several weeks and complete a project with each unit.
A Vessel for the Lord
Air-drying clay can be purchased so children can make a pot without a firing kiln or messy hands. Show pictures of pots similar to one Jeremiah would have carried and explain that they were used to hold water, wine and oil. Have students shape clay lumps into pots and decorate. Students can etch impressions in the clay and colour it with washable markers. Clay dries within 24 hours of exposure to air, so students can take their craft home after the next class meeting. This craft goes along with the story found in Jeremiah 18.
Create a diorama of a favourite scene from the life of Jeremiah in a shoebox using paper, cardboard, fabric scraps and items from nature such as small stones or grass. Ask an adult Sunday School class if students may come and share what they learnt about the life of Jeremiah and explain what their dioramas illustrate. Set up dioramas in a focal point of the church, such as a main foyer, with the Scripture verses each scene is from clearly labelled on the box to encourage other church members to read the story of Jeremiah.
Read the passage in Jeremiah 38 where Jeremiah becomes stuck in the mud in the cistern. Talk about the importance of trusting God to always provide. List items we need and discuss ways God provides these things, including food. Set out peanut butter and syrup and help children mix it together to create mud. Use character cookies such as Teddy Grahams to represent Jeremiah and stick him in the mud. After praying to God to meet our needs and help us no matter what trials we face, let children eat their craft.
Discuss Jeremiah's prophecies concerning the destruction of Israel and its temple. Create a flimsy temple using toothpicks or Popsicle sticks. Knock the temple down and discuss how much more time it takes to rebuild something than it does to destroy it. Ask students how this applies to Jeremiah's warnings and the sufferings the Israelites went through for many years because they did not heed the prophecies delivered from the Lord.