BIG IDEA: BLESSED ARE THOSE THAT ARE PERSECUTED
Aim: This ‘Blessed are those that are Persecuted’ Childrens Lesson is aimed to help children understand what it means to be persecuted and why Jesus said those that are persecuted are blessed.
BIG VERSE: Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:11
Introduction: Today we’re thinking about one of the Beatitudes in the Bible. This was something that Jesus shared on his Sermon on the Mount. He spoke to the people and told them how to live in a way that would be a blessing to themselves and others.
The Beatitude that we will be looking at is all about how the persecuted shall be blessed because theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Worship Song: Blessed Be Your Name by Little Worship Company
1. World Map Mash Up: Buy a world map per team and cut it up into pieces. Alternatively use one of the maps here to print out and cut up. Have the teams compete to put the maps together the fastest. You could even make a relay race out of it – have teams race to get pieces of the map before they can put it together as a team.
1. What is persecution?
2. Is God with those that are persecuted?
3. Why are we blessed if we are persecuted?
SET the Scene:
Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
Explain to the children that there has always been persecution for Christians. There have always been those that have been unhappy with Christians sharing about Jesus. Not to mention, Jesus hilself was killed by those that hated him. Stephen in the Bible (Acts 7) was someone that followed Jesus, yet he was killed for sharing about Jesus. Paul the Apostle was one of those that had tried to kill Christians. He had hated Christians, yet Jesus changed his heart and mind on the Road to Damascus.
Someone that experienced persecution and went to visit many countries where Christians were being persecuted is a man called Brother Andrew. God protected him many times as he took Bibles into these countries.
[This is written in August 2021 so the focus is the Afghanistan Church as the Taliban has just taken over the country]
There are people all over the world today that are being persecuted for being a Christian. Most recently you may have seen lots of trouble on the news about Afghanistan. In Afghanistan a group called the Taliban have taken over the country. They are fiercely killing Christians because they hate them.
This is very scary for many Christians in this country, yet they still love Jesus and want others to know about him too. Many Christians have had to go into hiding, going into the mountains. Yet just as God protected Brother Andrew, he can protect the Christians in Afghanistan. We can pray that God would help them to stay strong and to be bold for Jesus.
We can pray that members of the Taliban would turn to Jesus, just as Paul the Apostle did.
God is still in control and He is able to perform miracles. When everything looks a mess and the world is a scary place, Jesus can bring peace. He is able to do more than we can think or imagine. We just need to have faith that He will move the mountains; faith that He will do the impossible.
The amazing thing that we can remember is that those who are persecuted have the kingdom of Heaven. That’s what the Beatitudes reminds us. No matter what happens to us in this world we can know that we will join Jesus in Heaven, if we have loved and followed Him. That is the greatest blessing! Jesus has done so much for us. We get to live this life for him! The challenge is, will we still believe and trust in Him when life gets difficult?
For those in Afghanistan, their lives have changed in just a few short days. They may feel desperate and scared. Yet Jesus can bring them hope and peace. Let’s pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Afghanistan today and believe with them that God is their protection, their hope and their strength!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Beatitude Blow Out.
You will need: Print: the 8 beginning and 8 endings of the Beatitudes. Balloons blown up and words to insert in them per team – 16 per team, 2 black bags to keep each teams balloons inside. 2 chairs.
– We can pre-make the balloons on the morning unless you want to pre-make them before Sunday?
How to Play: Children are in two teams. They race to their chair, grab a balloon and sit on it to pop it. They find the slip of paper inside the balloon and bring it back to their team. When all the balloons have been popped and the slips have been found the team must sit down. The first team to sit down is the winning team.
You may want to collect the slips of paper in after the game so they don’t get lost, so they are ready for the next activity. Make sure to keep them in the correct team piles.
SENSE How You Feel:
Think about the question below as you do one or more of the activities below:
How do you think it would feel to be persecuted for your faith in Jesus?
- Color the ‘Blessed are those that are persecuted’ coloring page.
- Mould some people out of playdough or clay.
- Print out the large posters of ‘The Beatitudes’ and invite the children to read and think over them.
Prayer Activity: If you saw our social media post this week then you will have seen some of the prayer activity ideas below already, try using one at the end of your lesson.
Pray using a globe and map – find Afghanistan and pray.
Pray with photos of the people. (Taking care to select age appropriate images)
Pray using printables – use an outline of an Afghanistan map as a paper template and have the kids write their prayers inside the country.
Throw an inflatable globe around as you pray. Invite each child to pray when they catch the globe.
Prayer airplanes – write prayers on paper airplanes – many refugees will be flying away from the country and need our prayers.
Pray with Afghanistan meals (just Google them!) – if you have time and space to make meals, you could make an Afghan meal to eat and pray with. This may help the children identify with the country a little more as they taste some of their foods.
Pray with written down words from the languages of Afghanistan – Pashto and Dari. Google will let you translate words online to use such as “help” “mercy” “please” “thank you”. The language looks completely different so children may be surprised and excited to see it.
Pray to end:
Thank You God that You promise us forever in Heaven with you. Please give those that are persecuted peace, comfort and strength today. Let them know that You are with them and that people around the world are praying for them. Amen.