Music and the Gospel: “Love With Your Life,” Hollyn, 3rd Sunday of Easter

“Eucharist is the central action of the Christian community…It’s where we find the future we want to commit ourselves to build.” Spirit explores how every Eucharist calls us to put our faith into action and to love with our lives as Jesus did, reaching out to all, familiar friends and new and different people. Hollyn’s song “Love With Your Life” boldly challenges us to live life fully and become symbols of hope and change, whether by helping someone obtain a simple meal, learning about a social issue, or taking an active role in social justice issues.

Key Lines: You gotta love with your life / Like a fire burning strong / Til’ the night has come and gone / There’s a hope that lives in you / You gotta love with your life / Like a warrior / Fight, lay it on the line / If you wanna see a change / You gotta love with your life

Questions: When have you been unable to ignore the plight of someone in your school or community? What did you do to help in that moment? What situations or people do you feel your community ignores? How can you make people more aware of this issue? What does Eucharist teach you about loving with your life?

Check out these Social Justice Resources to learn more getting involved in your school and community.

Give your teen the gift of prayer

The Spirit Prayer Journal contains classic prayers from scripture and other religious traditions. Plenty of room and inspiration for journaling on all life’s big questions. Give your teens these journals to record their feelings and hopes during our time sheltering in place.

View sample prayers at goodgroundpress.com. You can order online or by calling 800-232-5533. 1 – 20 copies: $3.75; 20 – 99 copies: $3.25; 100 + copies: $3.00.

Looking for more ways to keep your teen spiritually connected? We have two time-tested and teen-tested short online retreats that may help. Review them below. Then forward the link or this email to the teen you are thinking of. Our prayers go with them:

Psalm 139 Teen Online Retreat
Life is a Puzzle: A “Pieceful” Retreat

Music and the Gospel: “something in the Water,” Carrie Underwood, Easter/2nd Sunday of Easter

Easter is where Christian faith begins. It celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. The Church often baptizes new believers at Easter time. SPIRIT is about a young woman who wakes up to what she believes at a baptism. For some people, believing is as natural as breathing; others journey through doubting and questioning. They may find people in their lives whose faith opens their hearts and minds to the teachings of Jesus. The song “Something in the Water” is about opening ourselves up to the possibilities that come with faith and embracing a wider community that encourages and sustains us.

Key Lines: There must be something in the water / Oh, there must be something in the water / And now I’m singing along to amazing grace / Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face / Got joy in my heart, angels on my side / Thank God almighty, I saw the light / Gonna look ahead, no turning back / Live everyday, give it all that I have / Trust in someone bigger than me / Ever since the day that I believed

Questions: Where are you on your faith journey? How do you describe yourself as a believer? How do examples of faith in other people inspire you? Who has influenced your believing? What baptisms have you witnessed? What does baptism mean to you?

Host a Passover Meal Online

The meal Jesus shares with his disciples the night before he dies celebrates Passover, a feast remembering Israel’s escape from slavery in Egypt and journey to freedom in the Promised Land. In the Christian tradition the Holy Thursday Eucharist we share celebrates Jesus’ gift of himself to us and his model of service in washing his friends’ feet.

The Spirit Freedom Supper offers a framework for an online prayer service with teens. Zoom and Hangouts offer ways for online groups to meet. Young people can take turns praying the prayers. To conclude, talk about how this night sheltering in place in 2020 is different than other nights and instead of blessing hands for service, invite prayers for family and friends who are sick, vulnerable, or on the front lines in health care.

Music and the Gospel: “Live Again,” Sean Curran, Palm/Passion Sunday

As Christians move through Holy Week, we reflect on Jesus’ ministry and the final events of his life. In doing this we reflect on Jesus’ message of self-giving love, compassion, and forgiveness. The song “Live Again” reflects on God’s love, how God sustains us and calls us to love one another. When we embrace Jesus’ call to love wholeheartedly, we become his witnesses to others, living beacons of hope.

Key Lines: Jesus, Jesus / Your love is breaking chains / Right now, right now / Nothing can stop You / Jesus, Jesus / You’re overturning graves / Right now, right now / Oh / The blind will see, the sick will stand / Sing hallelujah with confidence / Let healing come, let mercy in / Sing hallelujah and live again

Questions: Reflect back on the weeks of Lent. What have you learned or discovered about Jesus and his ministry? What have you discovered about your own commitment as his follower? What Lenten practices do you want to continue? How will you keep love alive in your home, school, and community?

Music and the Gospel: "Soon You'll Get Better," Taylor Swift ft. The Dixie Chicks

What does it mean to be courageous? Sometimes courage means standing up for or with someone through a conflict, or a big game, or through a punishing sickness. Two brothers play basketball in the Spirit story; one has to struggle with cancer. The other shaves his head in solidarity. Taylor Swift’s song “You’ll Get Better Soon” is about navigating the pain of watching someone go through cancer and having faith that they’ll get better.

Lyrics: I know delusion when I see it in the mirror / You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal / I just pretend it isn’t real /I’ll paint the kitchen neon, I’ll brighten up the sky / I know I’ll never get it, there’s not a day that I won’t try / And I’ll say to you / Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better / Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better

Questions: When have been close to someone experiencing a major illness? How did it change the person? How did it affect you? What did you learn from the person who was sick? How did/do you support him or her? What does courage mean?