Music and the Gospel: “That’s Christmas To Me,” Pentatonix

Family traditions and rituals give us strength, teach us the meanings behind the things we celebrate, and connect us with our extended family and others around us. The song “That’s Christmas to Me” is not just a list of the things we value about the feast day but a reminder of the traditions we love and the closeness those traditions create between ourselves and those around us.

Key lines: The fireplace is burning bright, shining along me / I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree / …I see the children play outside, like angels in the snow / While mom and daddy share a kiss under the mistletoe / And we’ll cherish all these simple things wherever we may be / Oh, why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me

Questions: What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What have you learned from the tradition about what Christmas celebrates? When have you experienced the traditions of a different culture? What new traditions would you like to create with your family and friends?

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Music and the Gospel: “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw, 2nd Sunday of Advent

The holidays pull us in many directions.  Sometimes we don’t recognize the people most important to us who love us, shelter us, feed us until something forces us to slow down.  Waiting can give us time to remember what and who we count on and how fortunate we really are.  Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” reminds us to take stock of all we do have and be thankful.
 
Key Lyrics: Always stay humble and kind / Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you / When you get where you’re goin’ / Don’t forget turn back around / Help the next one in line

Questions: When have you been forced to slow down or wait for something?  How did it make you feel?  What did being made to wait make you realize?

Music and the Gospel: “Hollow,” Tori Kelly; 2nd Sunday of Advent

In light of what’s happening in our world today (the multiple school shootings that seem to occur with alarming frequency, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut), we’ve been hearing voices calling out for compassion, even forgiveness towards those who have hurt us, our loved ones, our neighbors. Tori Kelly acknowledges that some voids can only be filled with love and forgiveness, and it is in those moments we are sometimes closest to God.

Key Lines: I confess (yeah), my weakness / Til you pick up the parts that are broken / Pour out your perfection on me now / And hold me / Wrap me in love, fill up my cup / …Cause I’m hollow

Questions: What is a difficult thing for you to forgive? What are some actions you consider unforgivable? What are some examples of forgiveness that you see around? How have you been forgiven?