Music and the Gospel: “I’ll Be there,” Jess Glynne

Spirit explores friendship this week. What makes a good friend? In their teens human being develop the brain power to see ourselves the ways others see us, making high school a time to try out who we want to be, to develop new interests, and to take on responsibilities. Our friendships can be fluid. Friends from last year may keep a distance this year. Someone we get to know better shows us what true friendship is: kind, forgiving, and supportive. Jess Glynne’s song “I’ll Be There” is about being there for one another, whether it’s to save someone a seat at the table or to help a friend through a difficult time.

Key lines: When all the tears are rolling down your face / And it feels like yours was the only heart to break / When you come back home and all the lights are out, ooh / And you’re getting used to no one else being around / Oh, oh, I’ll be there / When you need a little love, I got a little love to share / Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna come through / You’ll never be alone, I’ll be there for you

Questions: What does it mean to be popular in your school? When has this influenced your behavior and how you treat others? What does being a good friend mean to you? Who has been a good friend in your life? How is God a friend to you?

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Music and the Gospel: “Burn So Bright,” Bella Thorne

We all experience times when we lose self-confidence and berate ourselves for not being smart enough or good looking enough, for not fitting into what social media, advertising, even our own peers, tell us is the “popular” way to look and act. These can be challenging times that affect how we see ourselves and our roles within our society. The song “Burn So Bright” is about embracing who we are and letting our light shine in spite of the people who would otherwise keep us down.

Key lines: When you fall, you’re gonna hit hard / When you love with your whole heart / Remember the hard times make ya you / That’s when we’ll show the world / They’re not gonna break us

Questions: When have you felt pressure to look or act a certain way? What are some reasons people get shunned in your school or community? Do you think these reasons are valid? When have you challenged the status quo? How have you handled bullies in your life?

Music and the Gospel: “I Am,” Jojo

In high school, moments when we feel on the outside looking in happen a lot.  Everyone wants to be popular; everyone wants to be included.  Often we feel socially tested, judged about everything from the people we hang out with to the very clothes we wear.  It’s also a time when we determine what and who are important to us: is being popular more important than just being ourselves?  Who are real friends?  The song “I Am.” is a song that challenges those who want to tear us down and reminds us that we are all beautiful people.

Key Lyrics: No, no, no, don’t you dare / Who do you think you are standing there? / I’ll tell you / I am, I am, I am, I am worthy of love / Am I, am I, am I, am I strong enough?

Questions: What does popularity mean in your school?  When have you given something or someone up to be popular?  Why do groups act so cruelly about who is in and who is out?  What does it mean to bully another person? What instances of bullying have you seen around your school or community?

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?