Youth Club Session: The Beatitudes

Text: Matthew 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.  Jesus’ disciples gathered around him,

2and he taught them:

3God blesses those people

who depend only on him.

They belong to the kingdom

of heaven!  4God blesses those people

who grieve.

They will find comfort!

5God blesses those people

who are humble.

The earth will belong

to them!

6God blesses those people

who want to obey him more than to eat or drink.

They will be given

what they want!

7God blesses those people

who are merciful.

They will be treated

with mercy!

8God blesses those people

whose hearts are pure.

They will see him!

9God blesses those people

who make peace.

They will be called

his children!

10God blesses those people

who are treated badly

for doing right.

They belong to the kingdom

of heaven. 11God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. 12Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven.

Wrote all the rewards on the right hand side of the whiteboard. As I went down the beatitudes, they were written down on the left and mapped over. Used the CEV translation as this seemed closer to where the young people were at in language rather than the traditional language of the beatitudes: “poor in spirit” is quite hard for a 13-year old in Gosport to grasp.

What are your aspirations? What do you want from life? Money, Fame, A Fast Car? Yes? Good relationships, family, health – even better!

The first lot of aspirations are all about me aren’t they? All about getting what I want out of life for myself…

But he taught us that the values of the world, of self, are all wrong. He turned them on their head, and showed us a new way.

To depend wholly on God, to be aware of the needs of others, and not to be afraid to show our emotions, to be humble, to be passionate, to show mercy, to be pure and honest in our relationships, to make peace and to stand up for what is right all seems to fly in the face of what the world values, but the shallowness of the world is shown up by these values.

Great people have described this as “the greatest ethical teaching ever given” and if you seek to be really, radical, really subversive, to fulfil your deepest desire to swim against the tide, then the best way to achieve this is to follow this teaching, and try to live your lives as a Christian. You, my young friends, have the power to change the world for the better. It goes beyond what the politicians are saying this week, beyond the election hype: changing the world into a better place happens one person at a time. It begins with you. It begins with these values…

A little later on in his teaching, he taught us how to pray. It might be the only prayer you will ever need, for it encompasses everything. In times of trouble, loneliness, sickness or vulnerability, if you reach out to Him, he will be there for you.

So, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray…

Our Father…