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?

Music and the Gospel: “Elastic Heart,” Sia, 5th Sunday of Lent

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 judgement 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. Sia’s song is about surviving a difficult experience and finding peace within oneself.

Key Lyrics: And I will stay up through the night / Let’s be clear, I won’t close my eyes / And I know that I can survive / I walked through fire to save my life

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?

 

6th Week of Easter

Photo via Flickr user  Olga Lednichenko

Photo via Flickr user
Olga Lednichenko

“Peace is my gift to you.” – John 14.27

Jesus promises his disciples peace. He sends them on Easter evening to be instruments of his peace and forgiveness as God has sent him. Be an instrument of peace in your family and office.

Look over the day each evening to see how what the Spirit of Christ risen is teaching you.

Prayer of the week: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Seeds of Peace: Faith In Action

This week’s issue of SPIRIT Online features stories of Seeds of Peace Camp, a month-long experience for teens who grow up in countries in conflict.

How does listening to others’ stories rather than debating help resolve conflict? Why doesn’t taking sides help? When has real dialogue changed your mind about a person?

What difference do you think 4,000 Seeds can make in our world?