Music and the Gospel: “Supposed To Be,” Arty, 5th Sunday of Lent

This week’s SPIRIT is about letting go of something to make room for something better. Letting go of dreams or accepting changes in our plans isn’t easy. But making room opens us up to new possibilities and growth. Arty’s song “Supposed to Be” suggests all our experiences take us right where we’re supposed to be.

Key lines: Searching for the reasons we all get lost / Standing on the banks of a river that we cannot cross / If you spend your whole life living in the past / Then you’re just a stranger in a photograph I don’t know why some are meant to leave / In my mind you’re still here with me / But if God can smile then feel less lonely / Then you’re right where you’re supposed to be

Questions: When have you worked hard at something that doesn’t go as planned? How did you handle this? In what new directions did this moment take you? What do you feel is frightening about change? What is good about change? What are some examples of changes taking place in your life? How does change challenge you to grow?

Music and the Gospel: “Amerika,” Wintersleep

This week’s Spirit tells us the story of Father Tolton, the first African-American priest. It also touches on a time in American history when slavery existed and racism flourished. Unfortunately, despite the outlawing of slavery as well as the civil rights movement of the ’60s, recent events have shown that racism is still part of our society. Black Lives Matter; every person’s life matters. Accepting all who are different from us challenges us every day. Father Tolton gives an inspiring example of persevering against ignorance for the betterment of our communities and society.

Key Lyrics: What am I trying to find? / Are you alive, oh my Amerika? / Perennial with the Earth / And freedom, love, and law, and life / …It doesn’t mean that we can’t try / Fix me in your twilight eyes / So we can make a moment last

Questions: When have you experienced prejudice? How did you feel? Who in your school or city have you seen exposed to prejudice? How did you handle it? What are some ways you can combat prejudice in your school or city?

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?

Music and the Gospel: “Renegades,” X Ambassadors

School is a time of figuring out who we are and who we want to be. It can be a challenging time. It can become a place where we learn what values we truly appreciate and who is ultimately important to us. Sometimes the choices and decisions we make don’t make us popular. Spirit focuses on what is means to stay true to oneself and to the people who matter.

Key Lyrics: All hail the underdogs / All hail the new kids / All hail the outlaws / Spielber’gs and Kubrick’s / …And I say hey, hey hey hey / Living like we’re renegades

Questions: What does it mean to be popular in your school? How does this definition of “popular” influence your decisions? Who has been a good friend to you? How is God a friend to you?