Music and the Gospel: “Heart Like You,” Love & The Outcome; 2nd Sunday of Lent

Imagine you are alongside Peter, James, and John. When you enter into the Gospel reading for this Sunday, you are about to follow Jesus up the mountain. What does it mean to you to witness Jesus transfigured, brilliant, dazzling? In this time of Lent, we can sometimes be so consumed by somber, penitential reverence that we lose sight of the marvelous image of Jesus transfigured. Keep your eyes and heart open to bear witness to such transformation. After all, when you are going up the mountain with Christ, you will begin to see the kingdom of God differently — and pray that you remain open to the ways in which you are called to transform that kingdom.

Key Lyrics: Burn away the things I hold tight / Give me eyes to see / Your kingdom the way You want it to be

Questions: Where is the Divine being revealed to you in your daily life? Is it dazzling, or perhaps more subtle? This week, think of one or two actions you can do that will positively impact those around you. How are you participating in God’s kingdom? Spend some time in quiet prayer meditating on how Jesus is walking alongside you on this Lenten journey.

 

Music and the Gospel: “Hands of Man,” Django Django; 1st Sunday of Lent

Lent is a time to reflect on our lives — what habits do I have, how am I acting within my relationships, and where am I spending my time? Then we ask, are these habits, relationships and use of time putting me in closer relationship with my dear neighbors and with God, or are they pulling me away? Throughout our lives we are on a journey that wanders sometimes closer and at other times farther from God. This is why it is important for us to take stock of where we are and to whom we extend a hand — and make adjustments as needed.

Key Lyrics: Open up your eyes and start to dream / Sit down and think what it could be / Walk back and take the hand of man

Questions: What does a life that prioritizes my relationship with God look like? How do I speak to and treat others? How do I let others treat me? How do I treat all of God’s creation? If I close my eyes and dream, as the song suggests, what does the world I imagine look like? How is it like the kingdom of God? What one thing can I commit to throughout Lent to bring our world closer to this image?

Music and the Gospel: “Try,” Colbie Caillat

This song wants us to look behind the mirrors at our real selves. It wants us to question why we try so hard to be somebody else. We all feel out of place at times, especially in high school. In these moments of self-criticism and waning confidence, it can be good to remember that God loves us and values us more than we know or more than we love ourselves. God loves the parts of us we are still learning to love ourselves. Learn to see yourself through your Creator’s eyes and you will begin to love the unique and wonderful person you are.

Key Lyrics: Get your shopping on / At the mall, / max your credit cards / you don’t have to choose / Buy it all / So they like you / Do you like you / Why should you care, what they think of you / When you’re all alone, by yourself / Do you like you? Do you like you? / You don’t have to try so hard

Questions: Find a partner. Write down five things you like or find interesting about the other person. Look at the words your partner writes about you. Add five more things you like or find interesting about yourself. Take a moment to imagine how God views you and all the gifts and beauty you have. God has these ten words and many more in mind in the gift of your existence.

Music and the Gospel: “Hopeless Wanderer,” Mumford and Sons

God within us guides and inspires us, accompanies us in exciting times and difficult ones. This week, SPIRIT explores how a young woman, 16 and pregnant, makes a difficult decision about the baby with her boyfriend and family. In the gospel Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law, who begins to serve him as the first woman disciple. Both women feel the stirring of God within their hearts and put these feelings into action. When you feel the Holy Spirit burning within you, do you smother or fan the flames?

Key Lyrics:So when your hopes on fire / But you know your desire / Don’t hold a glass over the flame / Don’t let your heart grow cold / I will call you by name / I will share your road

Questions: Think of a time when you knew within your heart what decision to make, even if those around you didn’t feel the same as you. How did you recognize this feeling? What did you do to let that feeling move you to action? How can you help this flame within others grow and be put into action?

Music and the Gospel: “Brave,” Sara Bareilles

Choosing and doing what we know is right can be hard. We may be afraid that we will make others angry, that we will lose our popularity, or that we will lose our friends. We can trust though that God is always standing with us as we listen to the voice within guiding us to make the right decisions. With God beside us, we don’t have to be afraid to make courageous and loving decisions.

Key Lyrics: “Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave.”

Questions: What examples of Jesus making courageous and loving choices do you remember? What fears might keep us from making the right choices, such as standing up for someone who is being bullied? When you face a hard choice, what do you do to feel brave?

Music and the Gospel: “Ready Set Go,” Royal Tailor, feat. Capital Kings

Have you ever been on what felt like a never-ending road trip? Maybe you were restless to know your destination, return home, or stretch your legs. In our faith journeys we can feel similarly: we want to know God’s plan, we wonder how we will fit in our church community, or earthly distractions bogged down. Pay attention to the words of Jesus in the Gospel this week, for he is calling each of us to be a fisher of people. Jesus does not call the disciples and give them all the answers about how to be disciples. What matters is responding. The first disciples responded…even without a fancy GPS or a roadmap. Just be ready, set, and go out into the world!

Key Lyrics: “This love is something everyone needs to know / Hearts are callin’, no more stalling / it’s just Ready, Set, Go!”

Questions: How can you prepare yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally – to enter into prayer with God each day? Draw a roadmap of your faith, the ups, downs, turns, and detours.  How has Christ accompanied you during that journey?