Teaching the Beatitudes

September 19, 2013
By: 
Lifelong Formation

BeatitudesThe Beatitudes count among the most recognizable of all Scripture (Matthew 5:3-12):

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

With Civil Rights Sunday just last weekend and the horror of this week’s mass shootings still fresh in our minds, we are particularly challenged today to believe that the future promised in the Beatitudes remains possible.

Yet, as people of faith, we are called to believe this. And, as children’s ministers we are called not just to believe it, we are also called to teach it.

On the Forma members listserv yesterday, there was much conversation about teaching the Beatitudes to children.

What resources do you use to teach the Beatitudes? Here are a few that were recommended:

  • The Beatitudes -This children’s unit from Leader Resources helps us look at how Jesus changed our understanding of what it means to be blessed and how we can recognize the beatitudes in our world today.
  • The Beatitudes: How Happy Are You? – The ideas in this book from Leader Resources can be used for a variety of worship, study, and congregational life experiences.
  • The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights – With the text of the biblical Beatitudes as an undercurrent, the story of the civil rights movement is told in lyrical text and stirring illustrations.

Add your suggestions in the comments below or on the Lifelong Formation Facebook page.

And, don’t forget, we are calling for photos of original children’s art for use in the November 15 State of Racism webcast. More information is HERE. Email photos to me at rcollins@episcopalchurch.org.