The Beatitudes of Jesus appear in the discourse of the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus challenged his listeners to interact with the world on different terms than was the custom at the time. In that regard, Jesus' message in the eight Beatitudes is as relevant in contemporary life as it was when Jesus walked the land. Sunday school Beatitude activities show children how Jesus calls them to live. Show children that the lessons apply at home, on the playground and in school.
Other People Are Reading
Sunday school offers opportunities to present Christian teachings in interesting and dynamic ways so children have the best chance to integrate information. When teaching children to memorise the Beatitudes, stimulate learning with play. Divide your children into four groups of two or three. Give each group two Beatitudes written on paper to memorise. Assign the eight numbered Beatitudes randomly so each group has two teachings to memorise that are not in chronological order. When the children have had time to memorise their lines, call out, "Beatitude number one!" The group assigned number one will stand up and recite the Beatitude in unison. Call out each Beatitude in order until children have recited all eight.
Attitude of Beatitudes
Jesus used the Beatitudes to show people how they should treat one another. Ask your Sunday schoolchildren to write short plays in which they act out how to treat people who are sad and grieving, who are humble and who show mercy to others. Incorporate the Christian acronym, WWJD, which stands for "what would Jesus do," to show how to treat a person, a peacemaker who tries to help friends who are arguing. Instruct the children to write a part for Jesus in which he uses lines from the related scripture passage.
From the Headlines
When children understand that Jesus' teachings relate to their own world, they begin to see that the Bible has meaning for all people in all times. Bring newspaper and magazine clippings to demonstrate to older Sunday schoolchildren how the Beatitudes relate to the world around them. Discuss, for example, a world figure who visits a country at war to try to end the conflict. Tie that into the pacemaker Beatitude to show that the world always needs people who stand up to violence.
Fill in the Blanks
So many words in the Beatitudes are important for understanding Christian values. Make a list of the important terms in the Beatitudes. Include blessed, happy, merciful, persecuted and righteousness, to name only a few. Pass copies of the list around to the children. Write each of the Beatitudes on the board, but leave blanks for the words listed on the paper. Ask the children to fill in the blanks with the correct terms.
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