Use this children’s Sunday School lesson on the fourth Beatitude to teach kids to desire what is right.
Needed: Bibles, various food or beverage items in paper bags
Intro Game: Eat It!
Before class, place various food or beverage items in individual paper bags. Close the bags and line them up on a table. Suggestions include a bottle of water, a cookie, a piece of fruit, a package of crackers, a juice box, etc.
Divide the students into two teams. Call the first student from each team forward and set the first bag in front of them. Do not show them what’s in the bag. Tell them that if they can eat what is in the bag in a certain time limit, they’ll get a point for their team. But only one of them will get a chance to eat it. If the person eating it can’t finish it within the time limit, the other team gets a point.
Start the time limit at 1 minute and ask the player from Team A if they can eat what’s in the bag within 1 minute. If they say the can, ask the player from B how fast they can eat it. The two players each take turns reducing the time until one of them doesn’t think they can eat it faster than the other. At that point, they challenge their opponent to eat it.
Award the point based on whether the player eats or drinks the item in the specified time limit. Then, call the next two players up and start again, this time starting with the player from Team B.
Play until all students have had a chance to participate.
Ask, How many of you have ever been hungry?
What does it feel like when you’re hungry?
What do you want to do when you’re hungry?
Everybody act like you’re really, really hungry.
Now, everybody act like you’re really, really thirsty.
(Read Matthew 5:6.)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
What is righteousness? (Doing the doing right thing, being right with God.)
What do you think it means to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness?
It means that you really want to do the right thing. You really want to be right with God. You want it so bad that it’s like you’re hungry for it or thirsty.
And Jesus says that if you really want to do the right thing, if you want to be right with God, He’ll help you to do that. He’ll fill you up and show you how to do right things and how to be right with God.
So, the question is, Do you want to do the right things? Do you want to be right with God?
Then, Jesus will help you do it.
Game: Hunger Run
Divide students into two teams. The teams line up next to each other. When you say, “Go!” the first player on Team A starts running to the finish line on the other side of your play area. After 3 seconds (1 second if you have a smaller play area), you’ll say, “Go!” again, and the first player from Team B will race out to tag the Team A player before they reach the finish line. If the Team B player tags or passes them, Team B gets a point. If the Team A player makes it to the finish line without being tagged or passed, Team A gets a point.
Next, the second player from Team B races out with a head start, and the second player Team A tries to catch them.
Continue playing, switching which team starts running first every other round. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Explain that when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we have to want it really bad, just like they wanted to catch up to the person in front of them.
Jesus, give us a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Help us want more than anything to live a life that is pleasing to You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.