This week’s Spirit is about waking up to what is happening in the world around us. It is easy to put off unpleasant issues and can be challenging to convince others of a problem we see. Maggie Rogers’ song “Alaska” is about taking a challenging path alone, sometimes without the people we love, and moving forward with our eyes wide open.
Key lines: I was walking through icy streams / That took my breath away / Moving slowly through westward water / Over glacial plains / And I walked off you / And I walked off an old me / Oh me oh my I thought it was a dream / So it seemed / And now, breathe deep
Questions: What issues or problems do you recognize in your school or community? What woke you up to the issue? How did the problem touch you? When have you been asleep to a situation or issue that mattered to others? How can you help people around you wake up to issues important to you?
Anger is a powerful emotion. Sometimes it turns a negative situation into a positive. It can give us strength to push through a difficult or painful situation. On the other hand, anger and resentment can lead us to lash out and say or do things we don’t mean, inflicting our own pain on someone else. As a result, anger can teach us valuable lessons in forgiveness and apologies. Barns Courtney’s song is about how our emotions motivate us and how we channel that fire.
Key Lyrics: Lonely shadows following me / Lonely ghosts come calling / Lonely voices talking to me / Now I’m gone, now I’m gone, now I’m gone / …Oh gimme that fire / Oh gimme that fire / Burn, burn, burn
Questions: Who or what has made you feel angry? How did you deal with it? How were you able to let the resentment go? When have you made someone else angry? How did this person forgive you?
Sometimes in order to understand a situation or a person, we have to walk a mile in their shoes. In the case of the St. Paul high schoolers, they walk 26 miles every year to raise money for a local soup kitchen. Not only does this prove to be a physical journey but it also becomes a spiritual one. It changes their perspective as they walk through different neighborhoods and meet new people. They gain a little understanding of what it means to be homeless, how exhausting it can be. Their walk is worth the pain as they raise money to feed those who have no means. When we walk with those less fortunate, we are also walking with God.
Key Lyrics: Every high and every low you’re gonna go through / You don’t have to be afraid I am with you / In the moments you’re so weak you feel like stopping / Let the hope you have light the road you’re walking
Questions: Who like the Syrian refugees are on a journey in our world? How might you learn about them and help? What difficult journey have you taken that made all the sacrifice worth it? Who can you help this Advent that you see around you? How can you help them?