Lent scripture readings include great moments in Israel’s history, this week the giving of the ten commandments. SPIRIT explores what the commandments ask of us in our relationship with God and with our families, friends, neighbors, and even people we dislike. The commandments expect us to respect all people because ALL are equal in the eyes of God. Poverty leaves some people, especially women, without basic needs for themselves or their children. In many cultures and countries, women have few rights, little education, and diminished access to opportunities. Alicia Keys’ song “Superwoman” is about empowerment, strength, and continuing to fight for a better life, one where all have rights and protections.
Key Lyrics: For all the mothers fighting / For better days to come / And all my women, all my women sitting here trying / To come home before the sun / And all my sisters / Coming together / Say yes I will / Yes I can / I am a Superwoman / Yes I am / Yes she is / Even when I’m a mess / I still put on a vest / With an S on my chest / Oh yes / I’m a Superwoman
Questions: What injustices do you experience or see in your school or neighborhood? In the world today? Who is working to right these injustices? How can you help? What commandments are especially important today? What new commandments do we need? How do you stand up for what you believe?
This week’s Spirit discusses relationships, dating, and What it means to be in a healthy relationship? The high school years are prime time for making friends and dating. Most of us spend those years within a wide circle of friends and, as we get older, we start to pair off into more exclusive relationships. When we date, we explore and set boundaries, expectations, and priorities. The song “Love” is about being in love and what can happen when we open ourselves up to experiencing love.
Key Lines: You get ready, you get all dressed up / To go nowhere in particular / Back to work or the coffee shop / Doesn’t matter cause it’s enough / To be young and in love / To be young and in love
Questions: What does love mean to you? How do you describe a healthy relationship? How do you identify boundaries between people? Who do you want to be within your circle of friends, family, or with a significant other?
Making mistakes is a part of growing up. Sometimes we forget that our actions can have consequences, that they can affect not only ourselves but also those around us. Not studying for a test may result in a low grade, staying up too late may lead to oversleeping in the morning, inattentive driving can lead to an accident. Negative consequences can be overwhelming and scary. They can also be reminders that we are not perfect and teach us how to be responsible for our actions. We all make mistakes. We also get second chances. Like the song this week says: “We can turn it into gold dust.”
Key Lyrics: All I know / When the nights grow cold / And it’s all gone to rust / We can turn it into gold dust /Far from home / With these aching bones / Are you just out of love? / We can turn it into gold dust
Questions: When have you needed a second chance? When have you been given a second chance? What did you learn from the experience? When have you given a second chance to someone else? How can you use what you’ve learned to help someone else?
When we hear about the life and ministry of Jesus, we hear that he healed sick people, spent time with children, and exuded love and mercy toward his disciples. Perhaps that is why the gospel for the third Sunday of Lent is jarring. After all, it shows Jesus denouncing what is unjust and throwing out the money-changers from sacred grounds, the temple. The song asks us what kind of messengers of God’s love we are.
Key Lyrics: Don’t have to wonder your purpose / Or what you’re here for / Reflect his image / And show the world what he cares for
Questions: Call to mind moments this week when you questioned your purpose. How did God speak to you to bring clarity? Brainstorm a few action steps you can take to denounce injustice in your community and announce God’s purpose for us.