Topic 6: The Sermon On The Mount



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Activity One


Enquiry questions

Generic Skills

Values and attitudes

What are the contents of the Beatitudes?

Critical thinking skills,

communication skills



Critical, respect for ways of life, beliefs and opinions


Teaching Steps:

  1. Teacher asks students to think (1) what brings people happiness; and (2) does anything restrict us from achieving happiness:

  • Teacher asks students to think: what brings people happiness? Then, teacher states four specific examples:

  • A beautiful movie star holding a Master Degree marries a billionaire

  • An old man in his nineties has joined the winter swim for over twenty years

  • A computer wizard builds a fortune from scratch

  • A young inventor, with the support of his father, wins a major technological award in the United States

  • Teacher asks students to point out whom they think is the most happiest and why.

  • Teacher points out: most people think that love, health, wealth or career would bring happiness.

  • Teacher asks students to think further: Does anything restrict us from achieving happiness e.g.:

      • Who would usually be easier to acquire the earthly treasures, such as love, health, wealth or career? Are those the good-looking ones and the middle-class who earn good salary?

      • What factors (societal culture, economic cycles) may take away one’s love, health, wealth or career?

        1. BBC chinese.com: “SARS impact on the Hong Kong economy leading to huge loss” (28-5-2003) http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/trad/hi/newsid_2940000/newsid_2944100/2944164.stm

        2. Wikipedia: “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS”

http: //zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SARS&variant=zh-hk

        1. Pray for Hong Kong: “In the days of SARS: testimonies”

http: //www.gcc.org.hk/praysars_pg7.php

  • Teacher points out: secular happiness depends on chances, social culture and economic cycles. In contrast, the true happiness advocated by Jesus does not depend on earthly things and the external environment. It cannot be taken away by anyone.

The Beatitudes Activity One 3-2


  1. Teacher points out:

  • In the Beatitudes, Jesus taught that one has to pursue and cultivate religious sentiments in order to achieve true happiness.




  1. Teacher carries out the “Understanding the Beatitudes” activity and helps students understand the contents of the Beatitudes. Examine the religious sentiments which bring us true happiness.

  • Teacher asks students to read Mt. 5: 3-10.

  • Teacher distributes “Students’ Reference: Material 1” (The Contents of the Beatitudes) or shows “PowerPoint 1” (The Contents of the Beatitudes). Explain in details the implication of each religious sentiment in the Beatitudes.

  • Teacher asks students to form groups of four and hands out “Worksheet 1” (The Eight Religious Sentiments). Let students learn about the characteristics of the eight religious sentiments.

  • Teacher discusses the questions on the Worksheet with students:

  • What kind of personalities do people in Hong Kong highly praise?

  • What are the characteristics of the eight religious sentiments preached by Jesus? Do they benefit oneself or the others?

  • Teacher asks each group to present their ideas.




  1. Teacher carries out “The Expression of the Eight Religious Sentiments” activity with students and helps consolidate their understanding of the eight religious sentiments.

  • Teacher distributes “Worksheet 2” (The Expression of the Eight Religious Sentiments) to the same groups and helps students understand how one can express and put the eight religious sentiments into actions in real life.

  • Teacher and students discuss the questions on the Worksheet:

  • Pick four out of the eight religious sentiments and give a corresponding real life example. (People, events or social issues may be used as examples).

  • Think about how these people, events or social issues benefit oneself, other people, the communities or even the whole world.

  • When students finish the worksheet, teacher asks each group to present the results of their discussion.

The Beatitudes Activity One 3-3




  • Teacher may refer to examples listed in the following websites:

  • Spiritually poor: St. Francis of Assisi who gave up his wealth and fame to pursue inner riches http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Francis_of_Assisi or http://www.stfrancishaskell.org/Flyers/Bio_of_St_Francis_of_Assisi.htm

  • Mourn : Mr. Sun Yat-sen who overthrew the corrupt Qing Government http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Yat-sen

  • Humble : Dr. Joanna Tse who sacrificed her life in the line of duty during the SARS crisis

http://www.joannatse.com/esite/fgbmi/revelation.php

  • Desire to do what God requires: Mr. Robert Morrison who set his mind to bring the Gospel to China http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Morrison_%28missionary%29

  • Merciful : Dr. Lian Jia-en who serves in Africa

http://en.yunlin.gov.tw/index3/en/03Bulletin/03Bulletin_01_01.asp?id=116

or http: //africare.fhl.net/ (in Chinese)



  • Pure in heart : J.S. Bach who dedicated his life to God through music

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~tas3/wtc/sdg.html

  • Work for peace: Mr. Mandela who served as the first black president of South Africa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

  • Persecuted because of doing what God requires: Justin, the Martyr

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=74

  1. Teacher summarises:

    • Jesus made use of the Beatitudes to exhort people to cultivate religious sentiments in order to achieve true happiness.

    • Religious sentiments are different from the personal qualities that are highly praised in modern societies. The religious sentiments taught by Jesus are not only good for us, but for the others, the communities and the whole world.

The Beatitudes Activity Two 2-1






Activity Two


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

Why can the teachings of the Beatitudes bring true happiness to people?

Investigative skills, critical thinking skills

Principles of morality, self-cultivation


Teaching Steps:

  1. Teacher raises the question:

    • Jesus made use of the Beatitudes to exhort people to cultivate religious sentiments in order to achieve true happiness. How do these religious sentiments lead us to true happiness?




  1. Teacher carries out the “Religious Sentiments and Happy Life” activity with students. Help them understand that if one pursues and cultivates religious sentiments, one can attain inner peace, contentment and true happiness despite of adverse circumstances.

  • Teacher shows PowerPoint 2 (A “Happy” life) to introduce the life of the handicapped artist Chan Tung-mui.

  • Teacher asks students to form groups of four, hands out Worksheet 3 (A “Happy” life) and explores the relationship between happiness and the religious sentiments taught by Jesus.

    • Teacher discusses the questions on the Worksheet with the students:

  • What kind of situation did the protagonist find herself in? How would you comment on such a situation?

  • If you find yourself in such a situation, how would you feel?

  • How did the protagonist view the adverse situation?

  • Which religious sentiments taught by Jesus did the protagonist possess, so that she could still enjoy true happiness when facing adverse circumstances?

  • Why could the protagonist be content and joyous despite the adverse situation? Why was she still able to do things that benefit herself, others and the community?

The Beatitudes Activity Two 2-2


  • Teacher hands out Students’ Reference: Material 2 (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and guides students to think about which level of needs would the religious sentiments fulfill, so that they can do things that are beneficial to both oneself and others?

  • From the case study, what is the relationship between religious sentiments and a happy life?

    • When the students finish the worksheet, teacher asks each group to present the results of their discussion.


3. Teacher plays PowerPoint 3 (Comparison between the Beatitudes and Secular Happiness) and points out:

  • When one pursues and cultivates the religious sentiments taught by Jesus, one can attain inner peace despite the adverse circumstances. In addition, one can understand the circumstances from a positive angle and view them as aids for personal growth. One would attain contentment and joy, and is able to do things that benefit oneself, others and the community.

  • When one lives in this way, one has self-actualised and his/her existence becomes meaningful. This is a truly happy life.

  • The attraction of such happiness: it does not depend on chances, not constrained by the environment and it will not be taken away by anyone.




  1. Teacher hands out Students’ Reference: Material 3 (Comparison between the Beatitudes and Secular Happiness)

The Beatitudes Activity Three 2-1






Activity Three


Enquiry Questions

Generic skills

Values and Attitudes

How can the eight religious sentiments help people face the adverse situations in Hong Kong?

Investigative skills, critical thinking skills

Principles of morality, self-cultivation



Teaching Steps:

  1. Teacher raises question:

  • How can the eight religious sentiments help people face the adverse situations in Hong Kong?




  1. Teacher carries out the “Eight Kinds of Happiness” activity with students. Help students understand that the eight religious sentiments enable one to be content and joyful even in face of adverse circumstances.

  • Teacher asks students to form groups of four and hands out “Worksheet 4” (Eight Kinds of “Happiness”). The students will explore the eight religious sentiments and examine how the sentiments can help people face adverse circumstances. Ask students to give corresponding examples.

  • Teacher can use the following questions to guide students:

    • What circumstances are considered adverse that may lead to the loss of contentment and joy? (Teacher can refer to the following websites)

  1. Bound by materialism, empty in the heart:

Mingpao news “Shopaholic guilty of fraudulent use of stolen credit cards sentenced to community service” (8-1-2007) http://www.mpinews.com/htm/INews/20070108/gb11101w.htm (in Chinese)

  1. Crimes rampant in society:

Hong Kong Police website: Comparison of 2007 (Jan - Jun) and 2006 (Jan - Jun) Crime Situation

http://www.police.gov.hk/hkp-text/english/statistics/compare06.htm



  1. Violence rampant in society:

“Stop Violence against Women” (13-4-2007)

The Beatitudes Activity Three 2-2


http://www.amnesty.org.hk/html/modules/magazine/project.php?categoryid=55

  1. No justice in society:

“Shock over corruption tag” http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=29088&sid=10298583&con_type=1&d_str=20061010

v. Much poverty in society:

End Child Poverty

http://www.hkcss.org.hk/cb4/ecp/

vi. Fraud rampant in society:

Yahoo.com news “Exam cheat gets knuckles rapped” (4-9-2006)

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=40993&sid=12842896&con_type=1

vii. Conflicts rampant in the world:

“Iraq humanitarian crisis” http://www.ifrc.org/WHAT/disasters/response/iraq.asp

viii. Inequality rampant in society:

Information Technology and Poverty

http://www.singpao.com/20060814/local/865682.html



  • When the students finish discussing, teacher asks each group to present their ideas.




  1. Teacher further discusses with students on the practicability of the religious sentiments in the Beatitudes:

  • Out of the eight religious sentiments, which are easier to practise and which are more difficult to do so? Why?

  • What are the difficulties when practising the eight religious sentiments?

  • How can you overcome the difficulties? e.g.: Whom would you ask to support you? (Teacher may ask the groups to suggest plans for practicing the religious sentiments. Then each group will present.)




  1. Teacher may encourage students to carry out their proposed plans during the week and report their experiences and reflections in the next lesson.

The Beatitudes Extended Activities
Extended Activities:


  1. Teacher carries out the “Models of happy life” activity with students and helps them understand their own view of happiness through exploring the life of a specific person.

  • Asks students to identify one or more public figures that they think have happy life, and gather interviews and reports about these people. (If students have chosen more than one public figure, teacher may ask them to photocopy the following table).

  • Students may refer to the following websites:

    • http: //celebrity.50g.com/htmlpage/list.htm

  • Ask students to analyse which religious sentiments the public figures have practised by referring to the following table:




The religious sentiments in the Beatitudes

Has the person practised the sentiment?

(if yes, please put ““ in the blank)



The difficulty of practicing the sentiment

(fill in number 1 to 5; 1: the easiest, 5: the most difficult)



The level of happiness attained by that public figure

(fill in number 1 to 5; 1: the easiest, 5: the most difficult)



  1. Spiritually poor










  1. Mourn










  1. Humble










  1. Desire to do what God requires










  1. Merciful










  1. Pure in heart










  1. Work for peace










  1. Persecuted because of doing what God requires













  1. Teacher asks students to think about the following questions:

      1. Think about how the public figure practises the “religious sentiments” and evaluate if there are things about him/her that we should model on.

      2. Are the “religious sentiments” the key to happiness?

  1. Teacher may ask students to share the results of their research in the next lesson.

The Beatitudes Teacher’s References Material 1 2-1
Material 1: The contents of the Beatitudes


  1. The first happiness: be spiritually poor

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them! (Matthew 5:3)
Explanation of the text: Happy are those who know themselves being spiritually poor and weak in strength. They will trust God wholeheartedly and have the essential qualification to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.


  1. The second happiness: mourn

Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them! (Matthew 5:4)
Explanation of the text: Happy are those who mourn for the world’s suffering and for their own sins. Those who are in grief and penitence will find salvation from Jesus and comfort from God.


  1. The third happiness: be humble

Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! (Matthew 5:5)
Explanation of the text: Be humble means be friendly towards others. When one is able to control their impulses and desires and treat others with gentleness, he/she relies on God’s guidance. They will certainly be rewarded in the Kingdom of Heaven.


  1. The fourth happiness: desire to do what God requires

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully! (Matthew 5:6)
Explanation of the text: Those who earnestly desire to see peace and justice in every part of the world and God’s teaching being practised, are people who have justice in their hearts. Their hearts will certainly be satisfied by God.

The Beatitudes Teacher’s References Material 1 2-2




  1. The fifth happiness: be merciful to others

Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! (Matthew 5:7)
Explanation of the text: Being merciful to others means not just being sympathetic. It means putting oneself in others’ shoes, having a deep understanding for others’ circumstances and feelings, and showing concern and acceptance. Those who treat others in this way will be treated by God in the same way.


  1. The sixth happiness: be pure in heart

Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! (Matthew 5:8)
Explanation of the text: Those who are pure in heart and do everything with a pure motive will see God, because God loves to see us treating others and things with this attitude.


  1. The seventh happiness: work for peace

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! (Matthew 5:9)
Explanation of the text: Happy are those who treasure good relationship among people and try their best maintaining peace. Such people are doing the same kind of work as God, and therefore are called God’s children.


  1. The eighth happiness: be persecuted for doing what God requires

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them! (Matthew 5:10)
Explanation of the text: Those who follow Christ and become his disciples and are therefore insulted, persecuted and libeled against will certainly be rewarded by God in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Reference:

Barclay, William (1956). The Gospel of Matthew. Vol. I Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press. pp.82-114.

The Beatitudes Teacher’s References Material 2
Material 2: The Comparison between the Beatitudes and Secular Happiness
Compare and contrast the Beatitudes taught by Jesus and secular happiness.





The Beatitudes taught by Jesus

Secular happiness

  1. Definition

The word “happy” used in the Beatitudes was a very special word. It came from the Greek word makarios, which was specifically used to describe God in Christianity, a divine and godly joy.

The English word “happiness” has its own meanings. Its radical “hap” means “chances”.

  1. Relationship to circumstances

Joy that is clear, peaceful, unperturbed and self-content. It is totally unaffected by any changes in life. It is a kind of untainted and undisturbed joy.

Secular happiness depends on chances and changes in life, and on things that life may grant or destroy.

  1. State of existence

The joy discussed in the Beatitudes is a joy that remains even after much pain, grief and loss. Suffering and misery cannot interrupt the joy, even life and death are not able to take it away.

We can achieve and lose happiness easily. The transfer of wealth, the loss of health, the failure of plans, the shattering of ambition or even the change in climate can all take away the capricious happiness. When the possessions that bring happiness are gone, the corresponding happiness will also be gone.

參考資料:

巴克萊著,方大林、馬明初譯(1991)﹕《馬太福音注釋上冊》,(頁96-125)。香港:基督教文藝出版社。



The Beatitudes Worksheet 1
Worksheet 1The eight religious sentiments

  1. What personalities are highly praised by people in Hong Kong? Please write down your opinions.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. What are the characteristics of the eight religious sentiments? Do they benefit oneself, benefit the others, or benefit both? Please circle your opinions in the following.

  • “Self-benefiting”: the sentiment benefits oneself (as denoted by numbers 1-5: 1 means the least beneficial; 5 means the most beneficial)

  • “Others-benefiting”: the sentiment benefits one’s family, friends, the community or even the whole world (as denoted by numbers 1-5: 1 means the least beneficial; 5 means the most beneficial)







“Self-benefiting”

“Others-benefiting”

Your opinion

  1. Spiritually poor

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Mourn

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Humble

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Desire to do what God requires

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Merciful

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Pure in heart

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Work for peace

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5




  1. Persecuted because of doing what God requires

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5






The Beatitudes Worksheet 2


Worksheet 2: The expression of the eight religious sentiments


  1. Pick four out of the eight religious sentiments and give a corresponding real life example to each of them. (You may use people, events or social issues as examples).

  2. Think about how these people, events or social issues benefit oneself, others, the community or even the whole world.










Corresponding real life examples (people, events or social issues)

How these people, events or social issues benefit oneself, others, the community or even the whole world

Spiritually poor

Example: If one has the awareness of being spiritually poor, he/she prays often and studies the Word of God diligently.




Mourn






Humble






Desire to do what God requires






Merciful






Pure in heart






Work for peace






Persecuted because of doing what God requires







The Beatitudes Worksheet 3 2-1


Worksheet 3: A “happy” life


  1. What kind of situation did the protagonist of the case study find herself in? How would you comment on such a situation?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. If you find yourself in such a situation, how would you feel?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. From what angle did the protagonist view these adverse circumstances?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. Which religious sentiments did the protagonist of the case study possess, so that she could still attain inner peace, be content and enjoy true happiness when facing adverse circumstances?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

The Beatitudes Worksheet 3 2-2




  1. Why was the protagonist content and joyous despite the adverse circumstances? Why was she still able to do things that benefited herself, others and the community?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. According to The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which level of needs would the religious sentiments fulfill, so that you can do things that are beneficial to both oneself and others?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________


  1. From the case study, what is the relationship between religious sentiments and a happy life?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________
The Beatitudes Worksheet 4
Worksheet 4: Eight kinds of “Happiness”


  1. How can the eight religious sentiments help people face the adverse situations in Hong Kong? Please put down corresponding examples in the following blanks.




Eight good characters

Corresponding examples

Spiritually poor

Example: When one faces materialistic temptations, one loses self-control.

Mourn



Humble



Desire to do what God requires



Merciful



Pure in heart



Work for peace



Persecuted because of doing what God requires






  1. When you face one of the above adverse circumstances, what can you do to benefit yourself, others and the community?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________



The Beatitudes Students’ References Material 1 2-1







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