2011–2012 Horizons Bible Study. Illustrations by Ann Kim
2011–2012 Horizons Bible Study
Confessing the Beatitudes
Suggestions for Leaders
The Beatitudes are some of the most beloved teachings of Jesus, yet they may well be some of the most pointed. We may miss their point, however, if we do not study them within their literary, historical, and cultural contexts. In this study, Margaret Aymer invites us to consider the Beatitudes as they might have been heard when Jesus spoke them — during the time of the Roman Empire. While great in many respects, Rome was a cruel and brutal regime that did not stop short of executing anyone who challenged its authority. As you study the Beatitudes, it will be important to remember this context.
Confessing the Beatitudes is aptly named, as we are invited at the end of each lesson to enter into a process of confession. The ancient practice of confession marks Christians as a people who recognize the truth, learn about the truth, and speak the truth — both about God and about ourselves. Through reading the Accra Confession of 2004, and creating our own confessions, we live out our trust in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Confession in this heartfelt manner is a concrete way for us to make the Beatitudes part of our journey of discipleship as we move from confession to action.
Confessing the Beatitudes Companion DVD
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Large Print Page Relations Guide
The Faces of the Beatitudes:
Suggestions for Leaders Handouts
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Margaret Aymer is a associate professor of New Testament and chair of biblical studies at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), serving within the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Margaret is author of First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James (New York: T&T, 2007) as well as various academic and liturgical articles, and other resources.
Rita Boyer is a certified Christian educator who has served churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the past thirty years. She is director of Christian Education at Prospect Presbyterian Church in Maplewood, New Jersey. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary — Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Rita has written curriculum for We Believe, as well as articles for Horizons magazine.
About the Artist
Ann Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and began her career as a textile designer and illustrator. In 1994, her Christian walk of faith crossed over into her profession; her paintings were transformed and her ministry began. Through national and international exhibitions, she has become recognized as a visual artist whose art is infused with Christian themes. She has redefined "biblical art" into something modern, contemplative, and ecumenical. Learn more about Kim and her art at www.annkimgallery.com.