Music and the Gospel: “Got It In You,” Banners

“All who make little of themselves will be lifted up, but all who make much of themselves will be brought down.” (Luke 18.14) It is difficult to work hard on achieving a goal or building a team only to find out we’ve been “benched.” “Got It In You” is about losing what we think is our rightful place but remembering that we still have it within ourselves to be part of a team and be supportive of those around us. Humility can open our eyes to who we really are and help us better serve our teams, communities, and people.

Key lines: Holding back the flood / In this skyscraper town / You give all that sweat and blood / Now you think you’re gonna drown / You can’t tell that you’re bigger / Than the sea that you’re sinking in / And you don’t know what you got / But you got it at your fingertips

Questions: When were you forced to sit on the sidelines? How did you feel about this? What did you learn from this experience? What does humility mean to you?

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Music and the Gospel: “Girl,” Maren Morris

According to the United Nations, 1 in 5 children between the ages 6 through 17 are unable to attend school. The number of girls who attend school falls short in matching the number of boys. In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa cultures expect girls to get married and start families at very young ages. Schools like the Kenya Girls Soccer Academy aim to help girls to finish their education, which will then allow them to get jobs that will hopefully raise them out of poverty. These schools also create a support system for the girls and encourage them to be more confident in themselves and their capabilities.

Maren Morris’ song “Girl” is a powerful anthem for self-empowerment. It reflects the strength it takes to break through barriers and help each other take on social injustices so that we can make the world a more equal and better place for all people.

Key Lyrics: What you feel is natural / But I don’t wanna feel this anymore / Pick yourself up off the kitchen floor / What you waitin’ for? / Girl, won’t you stop your cryin’? / I know that you’re tryin’/ Everything’s gonna be okay / Baby girl, don’t you hang your head low / Don’t you lose your halo / Everyone’s gonna be okay / Baby girl  

Questions: Who is a female role model in your life? In what ways is she strong? What has she had to overcome? Why is education important? How can you empower those around you?

Music and the Gospel: “Beautiful People,” by Ed Sheeran, ft. Khalid

Jesus’ encounters ten lepers in Sunday’s gospel. Lepers experienced people shunning them. The lepers in the gospel call to Jesus, ask him for compassion, and Jesus grants it. The voices in “Beautiful People” feel second class to those with more money and things. The need for superficial things can blind some people to the beauty and potential that exist in in every person. Showing compassion is one way to get to know and understand people, and rise above our own misjudgments. Ed Sheeran’s song “Beautiful People” is about seeing things and people for who and what they really are.

Key lines: We don’t fit in well / ‘Cause we are just ourselves / I could use some help / Getting’ out of this conversation, yeah / You look stunning, dear / So don’t ask that question here / This is my only fear, that we become / Beautiful people

Questions: What were your initial thoughts when you first meet someone who looks or acts different from you? How did you approach him or her? What did you learn? What makes people fit in or not fit in your school?

Music and the Gospel: “Sunday Best,” Surfaces

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?

Music and the Gospel, “Two of Us,” Louis Tomlinson, Easter Sunday

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?

Music and the Gospel: “Becoming,” Jason Gray

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?

Music and the Gospel: “Learn To Let Go,” Kesha

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?