Beatitudes Charades (or Taboo)
The leader writes each of the beatitudes and each of the woes on a separate slip of paper and puts them in a bowl. One person draws a slip of paper and must act it out without using any words or sounds. The rest of the group tries to guess which one it is. (No using Bibles as a reference!) Repeat with another volunteer. Play a few rounds as time and energy allow.
An alternative is to play the game Taboo where one person must describe one of the beatitudes or woes without using any of the words written in it. (Another person should watch to help ensure they don’t accidentally say any of the words.) The rest of the group must guess which one is being described. Again, no using Bibles as a reference.
Beatitude Poster People
Challenge your group to name a famous person (or character from a book or movie) who exemplifies one of the beatitudes or woes. Discuss what it is about that person’s life or actions that make them a fitting poster child.
1. Read Luke 6:17-19. Jesus often came into contact with people from all kinds of backgrounds, and ministered to them through God’s word and miracles. Throughout the book of Luke, Jesus interacts with the poor and marginalized. In Luke 4:18 Christ declares His anointing to preach good news to the poor, captive, infirm, and oppressed. Give some examples of Jesus ministering to those on the fringes.
(Intent: Some examples in Luke: Jesus healed a man who was possessed with a demon, Luke 4:33-36. He cleansed a leper, Luke 5:12-16. He healed a man who was paralyzed after he was lowered from the roof of a house, Luke 5:17-26.)
2. How does the fact that Jesus came to the marginalized and the lowly communicate the character of God?
3. In Luke 6:17-19, three groups are identified: the Core, the Crowd, and the Curious. Today, which group do you believe you are a part of? Why? Is it fair for us to categorize ourselves and others as being part of one of these groups? Why or why not?
(Intent: This question is intended for the purpose of self-examination. Therefore, it may be convicting for some. If you become aware that it is, consider interrupting the group for prayer or repentance.)
4. Read Luke 6:20-26 and the parallel passage Matthew 5:3-12 for more detail. Note the contrast between having little now but much in heaven, and having much now but little in the afterlife. A. How does this work? B. Where do you see yourself in these descriptions?
5. Americans are considered “the rich” of today’s global community. The rich are constantly tempted to rely on their riches. A. How can we develop a posture of not relying on our riches while yet having them? B. How can the rich live a humble life? Is it even possible? C. What are some of the main challenges associated with having riches?
6. Jesus warns those who “laugh now.” He is certainly not saying that we should not enjoy laughter (Proverbs 17:22). Rather, he is highlighting the inability of the rich to weep at the right things. While enjoying themselves and their riches, they neglected the plight of those suffering around them (see Luke 16:19-31, the rich man and Lazarus). How do you safeguard your heart from being indifferent to those around you who may be overcome with grief or pain?
(Intent: It can be difficult to envision the plight of others, especially for many of us who have relatively comfortable lives. It may be useful for your group to contrast our culture with the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar.)
7. Both Luke 6:22 and Mathew 5:10-11 indicate that many of us will be persecuted for our faith. In fact, there are more Christians being persecuted today than in any other time in history. How can members of your small group prepare themselves for suffering?
8. The vast majority of the world’s population today is poor. Almost the entire population of people from Zambia, Burundi, Madagascar, Nepal, and Bangladesh live on $2 a day, and most of them suffer from hunger. How can your small group develop a compassionate response to the plight of the poor and the hungry here and abroad?
9. We often neglect praying for the persecuted. The vast majority of Christians also do not contribute financially to help our persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe. How can your small group play a role to help alleviate Christian persecution? See www.persecution.com.
1. Have you been burdened by the message or questions this week to do something practical for an individual or group on the fringes? Quiet your heart before the Lord and ask Him to give you direction and opportunity to share in His burden in some practical way.
2. If you do not feel a connection with the oppressed, ask the Lord to break your heart with the things that break His and to lead you into an opportunity to exercise your faith.