Music and the Gospel: “Million Reasons,” Lady Gaga, 3rd Sunday Advent

This week’s Spirit focuses on open-mindedness and communication, on discovering what we have in common with people who hold different beliefs, come from different cultures, and have life experiences unlike our own. We live in a global world with social media and the internet at our fingertips. We need to learn how to build bridges between ourselves and so many kinds of different others. Lady Gaga’s song “Million Reasons” explores the desire to walk away from someone but acknowledges one reason to stay that overcomes all the others: love.
 
Key Lyrics: When I bow down to pray / I try to make the worst seem better / Lord, show me the way / To cut through all his worn out leather / I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away / But baby, I just need one good one, good one / Tell me that you’ll be the good one, good one / Baby, I just need one good one to stay

Questions: When have you been in conflict or felt frustration with someone from a different background? How might you learn what you have in common? How does listening to others’ stories help you better understand them? When has talking led you to change your mind about someone or something?

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Prayer of the Week

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Music and the Gospel: “That’s Christmas To Me,” Pentatonix; 4th Sunday of Advent

With the holidays come family, friends, food, and presents. Also with the holidays can come stress, materialism, and fatigue. It can be really difficult to step back and remember what’s really important: being grateful for what we have. We don’t have to be stressed out and tired, trying to find the perfect gift and spending money we may not have just to show our appreciation for our loved ones. We can instead spend something more precious: our time. We can give something more precious than any present: our unconditional love and support.

Key Lyrics: I’ve got this Christmas song in my heart / I’ve got the candles glowing in the dark and then for years to come we’ll always know one thing / That’s the love that Christmas can bring / Oh, why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me

Questions: How does your family celebrate Christmas? Does your family have any free or inexpensive Christmas traditions? If so, what are they? If not, how can you go about starting a new tradition? What are you most thankful for this holiday season?

Music and the Gospel: “Sound and Color,” Alabama Shakes; 3rd Sunday of Advent

This week’s Spirit begins with a girl feeling how unfair life always is: she didn’t have enough toys as a child, not enough new clothes now. Everyone else has more than she does. Then she helps her brother out at a food kitchen in a poorer neighborhood and realizes that her hardships are minimal compared to others. Her eyes open up to a whole new world where fairness takes on a different meaning. She develops a new standard: everyone is deserving of compassion and kindness – no questions asked.

Key Lyrics: This life ain’t like a book / Sound and color / I wanna touch a human being / Sound and color / I want to go back to sleep / Sound and color / Ain’t life awfully strange / Sound and color

Questions: What does the idea of fairness mean to you? What do you think is unfair? How has life been fair or unfair to you? How can you change this attitude? Who affects your attitude about fairness or unfairness? Do you or your family have any holiday traditions that involve volunteering?