Anna Discovers the Heart of the Shepherd : A Children's Parable of the Beatitudes
Anna Discovers the Heart of the Shepherd is a story that is written for children to teach the Beatitudes in a way that they may remember. The Beatitudes are a group of verses in the Bible that are found in the book of Matthew 5:3–11. The word beatitude means “to be in a state of complete happiness or joy.” These are verses that Jesus taught while he was giving what was called the Sermon on the Mount, which is probably the most well-known sermon, besides the Lord's Prayer, that Jesus taught. They are a group of verses that all start with “Blessed are . . .” And here, the word blessed means “happy or joyous.” But it is more than just being happy. It is a complete spiritual joy that is known by only those who have been saved through Jesus and believe in the eternal life to come. Now, as in all things Jesus taught in the Bible, there is always order and purpose to his stories. Jesus didn't say things just to say them. There was always a lesson to be learned when Jesus spoke. That is also the way with the Beatitudes. There is perfect order in the verses. If they had been given any other way than what they are, they may not have been as well understood. With that in mind, this story is presented with the Beatitudes in the order that Jesus taught them so that children everywhere may learn their meaning and learn of the love that Jesus has for us.