Ready for more questions to discuss the Beatitudes? Catch up if you need to, at part one. Remember, I’m not saying you should try to do these all at once! Bookmark this page and come back. OK?
Open up a Bible to the New Testament, Matthew, chapter 5. Read verses 3-10. Or, read them a verse at a time and discuss using the questions below.
Verse 6: hunger and thirst for righteousness
- That seems obvious. Those who put working for justice before their own hunger and thirst… they will be filled. But what can kids do? How about bringing some canned food to the First Sunday Food Drive? Overcoming poverty is a justice issue.
- Here’s another way to think of this one: It is hard for us to relate to hunger and thirst. (Food and water are always available!) What about other thirsts – social and emotional? If Jesus promises that we will be filled, are we looking for gratification in the wrong places?
- Not to say that you always have to be pursuing justice….but if you aren’t working on matters of equity, where are you focusing your energy?
God blesses those people who want to obey him, more than to eat or drink.
Stop if you want to or… carry on.
Verse 7: Blessed are the merciful
- Webster’s dictionary defines mercy as “kindness in excess of what is expected; kind or compassionate treatment; the power to forgive.” Have you ever received mercy from someone? How did you respond
- How about forgiveness, ever been forgiven by someone?
- How can we show mercy to those in our family? (By being patient and kindhearted.)
- To show us how to acquire this Beatitude, God sent Jesus who lived among us, saw things with his own eyes, and felt the things we do. If Jesus can forgive his tormentors from the cross should we do less?
(I know, these questions are hard!)
Verse 8: Pure in heart
- Unblemished, perfect, flawless – these are the words that come to mind when one thinks of “pure.” Heart means “the center of a person’s being, where thoughts, intentions, and motivation find their origin.” (A quote from the book Become What You Are by William W. Klein).
How do you strive to be pure at heart? (Trying to focus on following God would be one way; which could take a lifetime of work!) Where is your focus? Is it on computer games or having “stuff?”
- How does our culture work against trying to be pure at heart?
- How about seeing God… Jesus didn’t just mean “in heaven!” When we are focused on God, we catch glimpses of God at work in this world. Think of a time when you have been focused on God. How did you see God at work?
(Decide that everyone will record their God sightings and share them the next time you are together.)
Verse 9: Blessed are the peacemakers
- How have you been a peacemaker?
- Are there any family conflicts that need your efforts? How about at school? Or at church? What about struggles you may have within yourself – do you need peace?
- What is a first step you could take to being a bridge builder?
Simple choices in our daily lives can allow us to practice peacemaking: Smiling, offering assistance, or letting someone else get ahead of you in line.
Verse 10: Persecuted because of righteousness
- Have you ever been teased for doing the right thing, or for not going along with the crowd?
Don’t panic if you feel that you can’t live up to what Jesus expects of us! We are blessed because Jesus wants to be our friend and wants us to commit to living as his disciples.
Stone steps with the Beatitudes by James Emery, who licensed this photo on Flickr under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).
Clip art from wpclipart.com is in the Public Domain.