Tell your family about someone you know who lives out the Beatitudes.
My Story and the Bible Story
Every time I read the Beatitudes, I think about Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa spent her life caring for the poor and forgotten. She showed mercy to those who seemed unlovable, and she did her best to bring about peace. Through it all, she was kind to everyone she met, even when they made fun of and insulted her. She embodied the Beatitudes. Many times I struggle to live out the Beatitudes. It is hard to be meek when someone insults you. It is hard to be a peacemaker in a world that glorifies getting your own way. It can be hard to live out the Beatitudes, yet this is the way Jesus calls us to live.
Read Matthew 5:1-12.
These words that Jesus spoke to the crowd that day are called the Beatitudes. They start with “Blessed are . . . .” They show us that God’s Kingdom is different from our world. Our world says that if you are successful, goodlooking, famous, or wealthy, then you are blessed. In God’s Kingdom, things are different. In God’s Kingdom, we are blessed when we mourn because we will be comforted. We are blessed when we are hungry, not for power, but for righteousness. We are blessed when we show others mercy. We are blessed when we work toward peace. We are blessed when we are insulted and made fun of because of our belief in God.
In 2016, Pope Francis offered an updated version of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart. Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness. Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him. Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home. Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others. Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.
This week we celebrate All Saints’ Day. We remember those who have given their lives for Jesus. We remember those who have remained faithful in the face of persecution. We remember those who have spent their lives helping others. We remember those who are well known saints and we remember those who are the saints in our own lives. We remember the people who have gone before us and have taught us about God. We remember the people in our own lives who showed us what it means to be a Christian. And as we think about their lives, may we take these Beatitudes to heart. May we live them out ourselves. May we remember that God is with us, that He gives us courage to remain faithful when others persecute us. May we remember that God wants us to see those in need and to help them. May we see God in every person we meet and show God’s love to them. May we remember the legacies of these Christians and live them out in our own lives.
Discussion and Prayer
- As a family, talk about people the world may not consider blessed, but God would. Talk about people you know who fit with some (or all) of the Beatitudes.
- Talk about ways you can live out the updated Beatitudes. Help your kids think of ways that they can see God in every person. Remind them that God created each of us and help them find something good or kind in each person they think of.
- Talk about what it means to give up your own comfort in order to help others. What is one way your family can do this in the coming week?
- Pray, thanking God that Jesus showed us how we should live. Ask for help in living out the Beatitudes.
Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.