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.
When someone we love dies, the relationship can seem lost. Spirit this week deals not only with loss but also resurrection. The stories in this issue tell us that while someone is no physically be with us any longer, their presence within us stays and lasts. Louis Tomlinson’s song “Two of Us” reminds us that those we love are never really gone but live on in our memories and actions.
Key Lyrics: So I will keep you day and night, here until the day I die / I’ll be living one life for the two of us / I will be the best of me, always keep you next to me / I’ll be living one life for the two of us / Even when I’m on my own, I know I won’t be alone / Tattooed on my heart are the words of your favourite song / I know you’ll be looking down, swear I’m gonna make you proud / I’ll be living one life for the two of us
Questions: When have you lost someone you loved? What do you most remember about the person? In what way do you experience the person still with you? How have you helped someone through an illness? How did the illness affect your relationship?
Holy Week is 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 “Becoming” expresses how we look to Jesus as a guide and live his message. It reflects on how we follow Jesus in our relationships with friends, family, and neighbors, how we can be beacons of hope.
Key Lyrics: Life is a house full of rooms / Each door opens to another door / I can’t walk into something new / Till I leave behind where I was before / ‘Cause I, I’m becoming / I, I’m becoming / It’s progress, not perfection / Not arrival, it’s direction / It’s the living and the learning / Not the finish line but the journey
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 judgment 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. Kesha’s song “Learn To Let Go” is about surviving a difficult experience and finding peace within ourselves.
Key Lyrics: Had a boogieman under my bed / Putting crazy thoughts inside my head / Always whispering, “It’s all your fault” / He was telling me “No, you’re not that strong” / …So I think it’s time to practice what I preach / Exorcise the demons inside me / Whoa, gotta learn to let it go / The past can’t haunt me if I don’t let it / Live and learn and never forget it / Whoa, gotta learn to let it go
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 are 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. The song “Light On” is about finding the inner strength to make difficult, challenging decisions. It’s also an expression of gratitude for all the people in our lives who help us when we need it most.
Key Lyrics: Would you believe me now if I told you I got caught up in a wave? / Almost gave it away / Would you hear me out if I told you I was terrified for days? / Thought I was gonna break / Oh, if you keep reaching out / Then I’ll keep coming back / And if you’re gone for good / Then I’m okay with that / If you leave the light on / Then I’ll leave the light on (Light on, light on, light on) / And I am finding out / There’s just no other way / That I’m still dancing at the end of the day
Questions: Think back to a time when you had to make a difficult decision. How did you feel? What options did you see? What reasons went into your choice? What consequences did you see? What resulted from your decision and what did you learn from the experience?