Music and the Gospel: “The Sun is Rising,” Britt Nicole; 1st Sunday of Advent

Sometimes in order to understand a situation or a person, we have to walk a mile in their shoes. In the case of the St. Paul high schoolers, they walk 26 miles every year to raise money for a local soup kitchen. Not only does this prove to be a physical journey but it also becomes a spiritual one. It changes their perspective as they walk through different neighborhoods and meet new people. They gain a little understanding of what it means to be homeless, how exhausting it can be. Their walk is worth the pain as they raise money to feed those who have no means. When we walk with those less fortunate, we are also walking with God.

Key Lyrics: Every high and every low you’re gonna go through / You don’t have to be afraid I am with you / In the moments you’re so weak you feel like stopping / Let the hope you have light the road you’re walking

Questions: Who like the Syrian refugees are on a journey in our world? How might you learn about them and help? What difficult journey have you taken that made all the sacrifice worth it? Who can you help this Advent that you see around you? How can you help them?

Current Music and the Gospel: SPIRIT Xtra December 1st

Advent begins the liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church. A new year is a time of change, and in the gospel this Sunday, Jesus warns his followers to prepare for great changes. We can reflect on the past year and challenge ourselves for the year to come. “Radioactive” is a song about a time of change, the ability to grow into new possibilities.

Key Lines: All systems go, the sun hasn’t died / Deep in my bones, straight from inside / I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones / Enough to make my systems blow / Welcome to the new age, to the new age / Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Questions: In what unexpected ways has your life changed during the last year? What lessons have you learned? How does being a follower of Jesus change the way you live your life? When is a time God has surprised you? Why do you think Jesus wants his followers to be vigilant, instead of telling them when he will return?

Current Music and the Gospel: “Eyes Open,” Taylor Swift

“Eyes Open,” Taylor Swift, The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond), Universal Republic

Gospel Reflection for December 2, 1st Sunday of Advent: Jesus tells his disciples to be on guard, because our God is near. However with busy lives and lots of gadgets, it is easy to be distracted from God’s presence and the needs of those around us. “Eyes Open” reminds us to be ready to respond to the things that truly deserve our attention.

Key Lines: Keep your feet ready/Heartbeat steady/Keep your eyes open/Keep your aim locked/The night goes dark/Keep your eyes open

Questions: What do you think Jesus means when he tells his followers to “be on guard?” How can we be on guard for Jesus today? How do you know when God is near? How do you prepare yourself for prayer or mediation? What distracts you from the presence of God? What do you think about people who try to predict the end of the world?