The Sermon on the Mount, which is in the Bible's Matthew 5:1- 7:29, covers several themes that children can understand, including the beatitudes, salt and light, loving other people and doing good deeds, the Lord's Prayer, choosing not to judge other people and how to seek and find the Lord and His will. These themes can be broken down into multiple segments and taught to children through simple Bible lessons that include songs, games and additional activities.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Chalk or writing markers
- Chalkboard or dry-erase board
- Index cards
- Salt-free crackers
- Salted crackers
- Drawing paper
- Pictures of people in relationships
Ask children what a good attitude is, and list their responses on a chalkboard or dry-erase board. Introduce the beatitudes as ways to be blessed, or happy, and God's promise for people who follow their directions. A simplified explanation of the beatitudes is onn the BibleWise website, where the "poor in spirit" are described as "willing to trust God completely." Review each beatitude through a game in which children put index cards with one word from the verse in order. The children also may choose a beatitude to accompany a picture on a poster.
List the uses of salt in past and present times: to flavour, to preserve and to melt snow and ice. Allow the children to compare salt-free and salted crackers. Note that another quality of salt is that it makes people thirsty. Read the beatitude, "Blessed are those who thirst after righteousness," and provide the children water. Ask the children what the world would be like if it had no light. Read Matthew 5:14, and introduce the song "This Little Light of Mine," which is linked in the Resources section.
Tell the children a story that involves an enemy. For example, the story could be about a child who calls a classmate names and who is on crutches a few weeks later and needs someone to pick up lunch for her. Ask the children to state what they would do for that child. Read Matthew 5:38-48, which is linked in Resources. Ask the children how they can show love for their enemies. Have them draw a picture and write a caption for the picture.
Show pictures of people in relationships. The pictures may show a mother and son, father and daughter or brother and sister. Display the first sentence of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name." Explain that people who trust in God want to talk to Jesus. As God's son, Jesus gives believers an example of how to pray. Display each phrase of the Lord's Prayer.
Ask the children to brainstorm about what a judge does, and ask who is the best judge in the world. Tell them the best judge is God. Read Matthew 7:1-5, which is linked in Resources, and ask if anyone ever had a bug or piece of dirt in the eye. Then show a log, and ask the children if they could see anything out of an eye with a log in it.
Host a scavenger hunt for the children to find index cards, each of which displays a word or phrase used in the Bible verse, "Ask and it shall be given unto you; knock and it shall be opened; seek and ye shall find." Hide the cards throughout a room, and have the children find the cards and place them with the words or phrases in proper order. Read the verse together, and read Matthew 7:7, which is linked in Resources.
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