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Activity 1: Story, Jesus Teaches the Beatitudes
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story "Jesus Teaches the Beatitudes"
- A copy of a Bible, New Revised Standard Version or another version
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story, including the biblical passage from Matthew 5:1-11.
Description of Activity
This story is based on the Sermon on the Mount, one of the most well known of Jesus' teachings. Show the Bible and explain that the children will hear one story from a whole book of stories.
Use Matthew 5:1-11 to show the participants how the scriptures are set up with verses and chapters. Say in your own words:
The Beatitudes are ways that Jesus taught people would be blessed. The First Principle explains that everyone has worth as human beings. How we treat each other is important. We are called on as Unitarian Universalists to treat each other with respect and kindness whenever we can.
- How do we learn about the right way to show others we care?
- Who are the people who teach us in our lives to be kind and respectful?
- How does the First Principle tell us how to treat others?
Pause after each question so participants have time to think and engage in discussion. Then, read the story. When you are done, process with these questions:
- What kinds of people did Jesus mention?
- Raise your hand if you have ever been someone in the Beatitudes. (Repeat some examples: Who has ever felt sad? Who has ever been gentle? Who has been a peacemaker?)
Say in your own words:
Jesus was saying everyone is blessed. Who knows what "blessed" means?
"Blessed" in our Unitarian Universalist faith is part of our first Principle: We believe each and every person is unique and valuable, no one more or less than anyone else. Since we are all unique and valuable, we are all blessed. We all deserve to be treated with respect. It's up to us to treat everyone as well as we can. Look around this group. Every single person is blessed.
It was important to Jesus to teach people how to act with each other. Why do you think people listened to Jesus? How do you think people felt after Jesus finished speaking on the mountain?
Jesus' teachings have been taught for more than two thousand years. Many people follow him because he taught love and kindness. Unitarian Universalists also learn from Jesus' teachings.