The Beatitudes, also known as the "Be-Attitudes," are the famous blessings of Jesus recorded in both Matthew and Luke. While the wording in both books is not identical, they do share passages and messages that are similar. Teach your church's youth about the Beatitudes through games that help them learn in a hands-on way.
Write each Beatitude onto the back of an index card and place all of the cards facedown in a stack. One at a time, the youth draw an index card from the stack and act out the Beatitude for the other kids until they are able to guess which one it is and cite the proper Bible verse.
Jot down half of each Beatitude on one index card and half on another index card. Turn the cards facedown and spread them out in a single layer on a table. When the stopwatch starts, each player tries to find the matching cards for each Beatitude. The person to find all of the matches first wins and must read all their matches aloud. Have prize Bibles or a poster of the Beatitudes ready for winners.
Study the Beatitudes in Matthew and Luke with older youth, discussing the differences between the two. There are four more Beatitudes in Matthew than in Luke; and while Luke talks about the poor, Matthew talks about the poor in spirit. Divide the kids into two teams and provide a buzzer for each team. Read trivia questions aloud pertaining to the differences between the two versions of the Beatitudes. Each team rings their buzzer when they have an answer and earns a point for a correct answer. Incorrect answers result in losing a point. The team with the most points after all the questions are answered is the winner.
Young children love the idea of whispering secrets to one another. The Beatitudes turn conventional wisdom about success and goodness upside down; so they are like secrets that Jesus gave followers to hold onto when the going gets tough. Sit in a large circle so that all of the children are sitting next to one another. Whisper a Beatitude in the first child's ear and instruct each child to quietly whisper what they heard to their neighbor. The last child says what she heard for the whole class to hear. The kids will enjoy hearing whether or not the message stayed intact from the beginning of the telephone train to the end of it.
- Bible image by Jacob Randell from Fotolia.com