Holy Week is a time to reflect on the last days of Jesus’ life — his last supper with his friends, his trial, crucifixion, and death. Throughout his ministry, Jesus teaches humility, compassion, and forgiveness. In his final actions he lives out his message in wholehearted love for us. The song “You’re All I Need” expresses how we look to Jesus as a guide. It reflects on how we follow Jesus in our relationships with friends, family, and neighbors, how we can be beacons of hope.
Key Lyrics: You shine like a light blazing down on me / Instead of reaching out, I trace your skin to see / In my head you’re a constant heartbeat / I feel you rushing through my veins / You’re all I need, you always come for me
Questions: Reflect back on the past weeks of Lent. What have you discovered about Jesus, about your commitment as his follower? What practices do you want to continue year-round? In what liturgies of Holy Week will you take part?
All relationships start out on a foundation of trust. We have a right to feel safe and secure. If we don’t, the relationship becomes toxic. Breaking trust changes not only how we view ourselves and others, but it can also leave permanent scars. Sometimes we have people we can turn to, people who will support and help us understand what happened. Other times we may be too scared to go to anyone for fear of judgement and blame. However, by dealing with the experience, we can eventually figure out a way to move past it and rebuild our trust in ourselves and others. Sia’s song is about surviving a difficult experience and finding peace within oneself.
Key Lyrics: And I will stay up through the night / Let’s be clear, I won’t close my eyes / And I know that I can survive / I walked through fire to save my life
Questions: When have you experienced betrayal? How did you handle the experience? Did you tell anyone about it? Why or why not? What helped you move on from the experience? How can you use the experience to help others who may be going through the same thing?
Throughout our lives we make many decisions. Some are no-brainers. Some difficult and scary, even painful and heartbreaking. Spirit follows the inner workings of one young woman’s thought process as she weighs her options, her conscience, and the advice of those around her to make the best choice possible for all involved. Adele’s song expresses the how one moment can change our lives forever.
Lyrics: I remember all the things that I thought I wanted to be / So desperate to find a way out of my world / And finally breathe / Right before my eyes I saw my heart come to life / This ain’t easy, it’s not meant to be/ Every story has its scars
Questions: Think back to a time when you had to make a difficult decision. How did you feel? How did you approach the choice? What reasons did you have for going one way rather than another? What resulted from your decision and what did you learn from the experience?
It may seem like just yesterday we received ashes on our foreheads. Now we are nearing the end of Lent. We hear Jesus utters the words: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, save me from this hour?” Even in this moment of inner turmoil, Jesus understands his clarity of purpose; he prays to glorify God’s name. “Beyond Me” is a song that takes us into the great unknown Jesus faces.
Key Lyrics: You take me to the place where I know I need you / Straight tot he depths that I can’t handle on my own / And the Lord I know, I know I need you / Take me to your great unknown
Questions: How have you felt stretched this Lent to go beyond yourself and glorify God? When have you felt inner turmoil? How has God been present to you in those moments?
One of the most recognizable verses from the Bible is central to Sunday’s gospel. “For God so loved the world that God gave the only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3.16). After this hope-filled declaration, the gospel contrasts light and darkness. The song helps us remember that the journey from darkness to light is not confined to a single moment but rather is an ongoing conversion. Christ, the light of the world, continually calls us into that light.
Key Lyrics: I hear a voice and he calls me redeemed / When others say I’ll never be enough / And greater is the One living inside of me / Then he who is living in the world
Questions: Name a few moments when you witness hope for a world that God dearly loves. Where or in whom do you see Christ’s light? What do you see with the light of Jesus’ love and teaching? What do you see as the purpose in your life?
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.