Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
My Bible classes began working on the Beatitudes this week. The nine statements of Jesus at the outset of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's chapter five are familiar to Christians but are often foreign to the way we act. How are we supposed to rejoice and mourn concurrently? Who feels good about being mistreated? Philip Yancey translated these teachings as Lucky Are The Unlucky. Our class periods centered around our own translations of these contradictory, to the non-believer, words of truth from the lips of the Savior. Each student was assigned the task of recreating the Beatitudes in ways that made sense to them in twenty-first century Houston, Texas. What follows is a sampling of the theology of my female students:
"Blessed are those who don't use time wisely, for there will be an eternity in heaven."
Summer, grade 8
"Blessed are the silly, for God loves to see His children smile."
Raven, grade 8
"Blessed are the claustrophobic, for there is a lot of space in heaven."
Sira, grade 8
"Blessed are the teachers, for there are always lessons in life."
Emmy, grade 12
"Blessed are the unemployed, for God always has work for them."
Christina, grade 10
"Blessed are the ignored, for God will place them on a pedestal for all the kingdom to see."
Jamiyla, grade 10
"Blessed are those with braces, for their smiles will shine in heaven."
Amber, grade 11
"Blessed are the missing people, for God knows where you are."
Jasmine, grade 11
"Blessed are the children with divorced parents, for they are part of the united family of God."
Alexis, grade 10
"Blessed are those who can read, because they can read to the blind."
Victoria, grade 8
"Blessed are the aborted babies, for they will have a full life with Jesus."
Aki, grade 8
"Blessed are the elderly, for in heaven they will have long lasting youth."
Sara, grade 10
"Blessed are those who have no car, for they will not have to drive in heaven."
Ivyon, grade 10
"Blessed are the diabetic, for in heaven God will be your shot giver."
Rachel, grade 10
"Blessed are those who never have a real love, for they will have a real love in heaven."
"Blessed are the young, for their innocence shines bright in God's eyes."
Chrystal, grade 10
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