Nonviolent direct action, or civil disobedience, is a method peaceful movements use to bring about change. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used nonviolence to bring about desegregation and promote racial equality in the United States.
The film A Force More Powerful documents how several social movements used nonviolent methods to end injustices. These movements range from ending apartheid in South Africa to Danish resistance to Nazi occupation.
Search out other people who have worked for peace from Isaiah’s time to current times. Identify global and local peacemakers today and the nonviolent movements in which they participate. Peacemakers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Share with others what you have learned about the history of nonviolence.
John the Baptist challenges the Pharisees and Sadducees to live lives that match the words they speak in this Sunday’s gospel. People in our world obsess with image. To live true to what we believe and who we really want to be is hard. The song “Red Hands” describes the challenge of being honest with ourselves and others.
Key Lines: I realize that I got red hands, I wanna change this / Don’t ask me why I choose to lie, I stay blind, oh / It’s clear to me that you are fuming too, your accusations are burning through / Is that what you really want?
Questions: What makes owning up to our mistakes so difficult? When is a time that you have forgiven someone else? Who
challenges you to be true to yourself? When is it difficult to be honest with yourself or others? How do you think Jesus wants us to prepare for him?
Advent begins the liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church. A new year is a time of change, and in the gospel this Sunday, Jesus warns his followers to prepare for great changes. We can reflect on the past year and challenge ourselves for the year to come. “Radioactive” is a song about a time of change, the ability to grow into new possibilities.
Key Lines: All systems go, the sun hasn’t died / Deep in my bones, straight from inside / I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones / Enough to make my systems blow / Welcome to the new age, to the new age / Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Questions: In what unexpected ways has your life changed during the last year? What lessons have you learned? How does being a follower of Jesus change the way you live your life? When is a time God has surprised you? Why do you think Jesus wants his followers to be vigilant, instead of telling them when he will return?
Reflection Questions for SPIRIT, November 24th:
1. How forgivable is Derek’s one beer? Do you react more like Anthony, Margaret, or Diane?
2. What do you think the consequences should be?
3. What example does Jesus give us in regard to forgiveness?
4. What do you find hard to forgive?
5. Where and how did Jesus reign today?
As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we remember that Jesus’ power is not riches, fame, or political power but the power of love and forgiveness. Our culture celebrates glamorous royals and celebrity gossips, but as Christians we know that these things will not last forever. The song “Royals” is about the rejection of our earthly ideas of royalty in favor of something more substantial.
Key Lines: And we’ll never be royals / It don’t run in our blood / That kind of lux just ain’t for us / We crave a different kind of buzz / Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee / And baby I’ll rule (I’ll rule I’ll rule I’ll rule…) / Let me live that fantasy
Questions: How would you describe the kingdom of Jesus? How is Jesus like an earthly ruler? How is he different? What is our inheritance as daughters and sons of God? Who are examples of good or just leaders? What qualities do they possess?
1. When have you experienced God’s presence with you in danger? In success?
2. How is our relationship with God about more than touching a prayer cross?
3. Why shouldn’t we fear the end of the world?
4. If no one cared about living justly, would you? Why?
5. How do you show you are a Christian?