We cope with emotions, especially painful ones, in different ways. Difficult times can throw off our sense of self and purpose. Some people can’t get past the challenge, while others seem to embrace it, adjust, and move on. Painful experiences can actually be a time of growth; we get an idea of what we are capable of and how we handle things. This can actually deepen our sense of self and purpose. It also brings us closer to those around us and has the power to deepen our faith.
Key Lyrics: Don’t be so hard on yourself, no / Learn to forgive, learn to let go / Everyone trips, everyone falls / So don’t be so hard on yourself, no
Questions: What has surprised you lately? How has a painful experience changed your idea of who you are? What did you learn from it? How were you able to move on? How can you use your experience to help others going through something similar?
It may seem like just yesterday we received ashes on our foreheads. Now we are nearing the end of Lent. We hear Jesus utters the words: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, save me from this hour?” Even in this moment of inner turmoil, Jesus understands his clarity of purpose; he prays to glorify God’s name. “Beyond Me” is a song that takes us into the great unknown Jesus faces.
Key Lyrics: You take me to the place where I know I need you / Straight tot he depths that I can’t handle on my own / And the Lord I know, I know I need you / Take me to your great unknown
Questions: How have you felt stretched this Lent to go beyond yourself and glorify God? When have you felt inner turmoil? How has God been present to you in those moments?
When we hear about the life and ministry of Jesus, we hear that he healed sick people, spent time with children, and exuded love and mercy toward his disciples. Perhaps that is why the gospel for the third Sunday of Lent is jarring. After all, it shows Jesus denouncing what is unjust and throwing out the money-changers from sacred grounds, the temple. The song asks us what kind of messengers of God’s love we are.
Key Lyrics: Don’t have to wonder your purpose / Or what you’re here for / Reflect his image / And show the world what he cares for
Questions: Call to mind moments this week when you questioned your purpose. How did God speak to you to bring clarity? Brainstorm a few action steps you can take to denounce injustice in your community and announce God’s purpose for us.