THE BEATITUDE SERIES
CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS
November 22, 2020
Dear CAN Community, my hope is that through this series on the Beatitudes, we as individuals, families and a community can dig into and learn more about what Jesus taught us in Matthew 5.
In the weeks to come:
- I hope to include a short lesson or learning specific to the verse we are studying
- Make this space interactive and play on all of the senses
- invite us into spiritual practices as we interact with the words of Jesus
*There is no pressure to do all the activities but is a tool to learn more and spend time in scripture and in the words of Jesus.
Intro and Context of Matthew:
This week as we begin our series on the Beatitudes it is important to understand the context in which Jesus is teaching. Below are some great resources or activities:
- The Bible Project, The Book of Matthew
- Japanese Version of the Bible Project The Book of Matthew
- As a family read through Matthew chapters 1-5, you can read a chapter a day either together or individually.
- What did you learn from watching the Bible project?
- What stuck out to you the most?
- What verse or chapter spoke the most deeply or directly to you?
- From reading, or watching the bible project, do you understand the book of Matthew better?
- Where do you still have questions? What are some of those questions?
Verse of the week: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3
Look: This image is from an artist named Hyatt Moore, he depicts the emotion behind the text. When you look at this image what do you feel? What do you hear? What do you sense?
Colour: For the children in our community, here is a picture for you to colour. As you colour, what do notice about Jesus?
Listen: Here is a beautiful song, by Audrey Assad called Blessed are the Ones that invites us deeper into this verse. Enjoy her words and think about Christ’s welcome into the Kingdom of Heaven and being the blessed ones.
Think and engage:
After gaining context for the Beatitudes through reading Matthew 1-5 and spending time either drawing or looking at the image, and hopefully listening to this song – I hope your senses are engaged.
This opening Beatitude, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven sets the stage for the other verses to come. Jesus is making a way for his upside down gospel by inviting everyone in who turns to Him. He is inviting those who are poor in spirit, and in Luke’s gospel – those who are poor. He is saying that those who are poor are welcome here, they are being welcomed by Christ – we are being welcomed by Christ. This invitation to turn to Christ is very loud throughout the gospels – and Jesus in His kindness is promising us welcome if we turn to him. This Kingdom is not for those who are perfect, or for those who are well fed, or rich, or emotionally stable all of the time, it is for those of us who struggle, and feel lost, and who need the rescuing and redeeming work of Christ in our life.
- Can you see the image of this Kingdom where Christ invites the poorest in and speaks life and inheritance over them?
- Do you see yourself as one who belongs in this kingdom?
- In what ways do you feel poor? In what ways do you feel poor in spirit?
- Can you articulate a time where you have felt poor or poor in spirit?
- Do you sense a welcoming into the Kingdom of Heaven?
Solitude: Spend some time in silence. With a journal, or in your mind begin to imagine Christ on the mountainside inviting you into the Kingdom of God. Do you feel worthy? Do you feel like you belong? Do you feel like you need to be a certain way before you are allowed in? Speak openly from your heart to Jesus. Voice the ways in which your spirit has felt poor, or broken or worried. Spend some time with him. You are welcome here and into the Kingdom of God.
Service: As we come into the advent season, and as we contemplate the verses about poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, how can you and your family serve someone in need? Can you contribute to a local food drive? Or rake leaves for an elderly neighbor? In what ways can we be attentive to our own poverty, and also serve those who have less than us?