On today this 7th day of December we found our friend Elfie perched upon a high, high tower. The boys were quite amazed at Elfie’s building skills! Our scripture story today came from Matthew 5:1-11:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
This one took a while to hash through but turned out to be really great. We tried to break this passage down verse by verse to help the boys understand what Jesus was teaching the people about.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit – This is like us saying, “God I am nothing without you. Please help me to be poor in spirit, humble, and depend on you for everything” Trying to explain “humble” to a 4 and 5-year-old was a bit challenging.
- Blessed are those who mourn – This one was fun if you have ever seen the movie Inside Out. In that movie Riley found joy through her mourning. When we hurt God by sinning it should leave us heart-broken. In our home if one of the boys says something mean the other will often say, “you broke my heart!” We used this example to show how we should respond when we sin…….we should have a broken heart, mourning, for what we have done to God. When this becomes our attitude of repentance we will be blessed and comforted by God Almighty.
- Blessed are the meek – meek means quiet, gentle or submissive. Blessed are the ones who are gentle in their interactions with others and submissive to those they are to submit to.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – When we have a burning to do the right thing, to make God famous in our everyday lives, we will find the fullness of God.
- Blessed are the merciful – taking out time of our day and resources to do things like helping at the food pantry and caring for others is being merciful. Realizing that we have so much that so many others do not have and go without. Being thankful for what we have and being merciful to others in the way that we help them and pray from them and sacrifice for them makes God happy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart – We need to be honest with others and honest with ourselves. We know what is right and wrong. And we know that when we choose to do wrong we need to confess it and ask forgiveness. This makes Jesus happy and makes His home in our hearts much more comfy! (that last visualization compliments of Ian)
- Blessed are the peacemakers – honestly…….we need more peacemakers in this house! We talked a lot about making peace with our brothers and friends even when we are wronged.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness – this one was such an interesting one to talk to the boys about. With all of the scary times in our schools and communities with students and people being persecuted for their belief in Christ, there was something so rewarding to talk to our boys about never, ever backing down from their belief in God. No matter what you face, no matter if people laugh at you or harm you…..you are a child of God. You reward for always acknowledging Him will be found in Heaven. Never, ever be ashamed of your Jesus! He was not ever ashamed of you!