The gospel this Sunday asks us “What is faith?” Like a good song, faith can move us and connect us to the world and people around us. Faith in ourselves, our friends, teachers, and parents gives us strength to overcome difficult moments and climb mountains. Faith sets our hearts on who gives us life and why. Faith in God says yes to life and to all its diversity evolving in creation. “Sunday Best” is a song about embracing life and having faith that no matter what happens, we can get through anything.
Key Lyrics: Feeling good, like I should / Went and took a walk around the neighborhood / Feeling blessed, never stressed / Got that sunshine on my Sunday best / Everyday can be a better day despite the challenge / All you gotta do is leave it better than you found it
Questions: What does faith mean to you? Who do you believe in? When or how have you experienced God? On who is your heart set ultimately? How is your faith changing as you get older?
SPIRIT Online is the only religion program for teens that links the Sunday Gospels to their lives. And it is all online—ready for teens on their phones and tablets. Ready for you to forward to parents and Confirmation sponsors. SPIRIT begins on October 6th this year. The autumn issues feature a series on prayer. Advent brings the prophecies of Isaiah for a peaceful world. The Sundays after Christmas explore Jesus as he teaches and heals in Galilee. The Lent and Easter issues ask teens what kind of Christians they want to be.
Any Sunday Gospel or SPIRIT issue can lead to conversion. When we let the Holy Spirit in, something good takes root. We are happy that SPIRIT is a part of that for the teens in your care. Please call Lacy at 800-232-5533 to set up your subscription for 2019-2020. Or go to goodgroundpress.com to place your order. May the blessings of summer be yours in abundance.
In Sunday’s gospel Jesus identifies the two greatest commandments–to love God with all our hearts and minds and our neighbor as ourselves. All of us, regardless of circumstances, can live these basic commandments rather than stereotype, judge, and disrespect others. We have the capabilities to brighten someone’s day, help people, spread joy, and learn from those different from us. The song “Love Song” is a reminder to love every day.
Lyrics: You are good to me / Still even better than I think / You are strong for me / For every time that I can’t be / I love You / It’s simple to say / But I love You / More every day / You see my heart and You know that it’s true / I love You / I love You, yes, I do / Yes, I do
Questions: How do labels affect how you see people around you? How does the fear of being labelled prevent you from being your true self? How can you help change the negative implications that labels can impose on others?
In high school many people come together to form their own social groups. These groups, or cliques, often have expectations about how to dress and act and who to include as a friend. Sometimes we have to sort out who we really are and who we like regardless of what other people expect. The song “This Is Me” tells us that we find true beauty and confidence in being we were are meant to be. It celebrates individuality.
Key Lyrics: When the sharpest words wanna cut me down / I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out / I am brave, I am bruised / I am who I’m meant to be, this is me / Look out ‘cause here I come / And I’m marching on to the beat I drum / I’m not scared to be seen / I make no apologies, this is me
Questions: What qualities do you look for in friends? What qualities do people expect from you? When have you tried to be someone you’re not? What is something beautiful about you?
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus teaches us the way to love God is to love one another. It doesn’t matter who we love, what religion we adhere to, what color our skin is, where we are on the economic scale. What matters the most is that we treat each other with respect, fairness, and kindness. The song “Here For You” is a promise to always stand by each other in the face of ignorance. We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to be there for each other. In doing this, we create a safe community for all.
Key lines: When you feel you’ve had enough, and you wasted all your love / I’ll be here for you, here for you / When the dog is at his bone, and you run away from home / I’ll be here for you, here for you / Well I’m here for you, I’m here for you, you, you
Questions: What types of disrespect do you see in your school, community, country? What do you think can be done to challenge people who like to exclude others? When have you showed mercy to someone who wronged you? When has someone shown you mercy?
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?