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With so many churches and Sunday Schools closed during the COVID pandemic, keeping the faith discussion going "at-home" has taken on a new urgency. "At-home" isn't easy for many families, especially when it comes to youth. And that's why we've put together the following short music video lessons  -- because it's a medium youth enjoy and families can view and discuss together. 

The videos are found on YouTube, and can be viewed on any computer device, smartphone, or modern-internet-capable TV. The videos can be used in any order. 

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The music videos below were handpicked to "share the faith" at home during the pandemic -- with a focus on how life in the pandemic has "opened our eyes" and changed us. They were selected by Neil MacQueen, a Presbyterian minister with 30 years of youth ministry experience. Neil is an avid listener of (some) Christian contemporary music, and lesson writer here at Rotation.org.

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Video 1: What Does God Want Us To See & Do in 2020 (and beyond)

Matthew 25: I was hungry, I was a stranger, I was sick, I was in prison... just as you did it to one of the least of these  --- you did it to me.’ 

 Open and Share the PDF of this Lesson (it includes the video) 

Video: "Open the Eyes of My Heart," as sung by DeAngelo Gardner.

DeAngelo Gardner is a little known gospel singer outside of the worship-singer circuit, but his rendition of the popular song, "Open The Eyes of My Heart" is about as good as it gets. More importantly, this contemporary song raises an important issue these days: "Lord, what do we need to have our eyes opened about right now? Where are you in all this mess?" And on that subject, Jesus had some profound words.

Here's the YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/0HDCRS-gsi0

Lyrics and Questions to Ponder:

  • What does it mean to have your eyes "opened" to something?
  • What have your eyes been "opened" about during 2020 -- in your personal life, in our family, in our society?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how cool would it be to close your eyes, then open them to find JESUS sitting right here with us?
  • What questions would you ask him?
  • What question about 2020 do you think Jesus would ask YOU? 


Read Matthew 25:34-40 to discover some of the people TODAY that Jesus would tell you that he wants you to "open your eyes" to (care for, respond to). 

34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 

36 I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.’ 

37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 

Conclusion:

The lyrics to "Open the Eyes of My Heart" are based on Isaiah 6 where the prophet Isaiah sees six-winged "Seraphs" hovering over the presence of God and shouting "Holy, Holy, Holy."  Then Isaiah hears God's voice saying:

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

(And Isaiah responds) “Here am I. Send me!”

How are we as a family responding to God's call to serving the "least of these" during this pandemic?

Written by Neil MacQueen, member of the Rotation.org Writing Team

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Video 2: Good Good Father

Psalm 46:1-7 "God is our refuge and our strength... though the earth should change..."

In 2016 this song by Pat Barrett became a massive hit for Christian music superstar, Chris Tomlin. In the "live" version of the song seen below you will see scenes of Tomlin singing with Barrett in concert. Here's its YouTube Link.

 Download and Share the PDF of this lesson (it includes a clickable video).

The Question: Where is God in times like this? How can we call God good when there's so much "bad" around? What's God's message to us in the middle of change and suffering? 

View the Video

YouTube version with the lyrics onsceen: https://youtu.be/OfJrxvVnmkE

Lyrics and Questions to Ponder:

I've seen many searching for answers far and wide

  • What answers are people searching for now?  
  • What has the pandemic taught you about friends and family, school, health, mortality (death), who you can rely on?

But I know we're all searching
For answers only you provide
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

  • What is the "ANSWER" that we need to hear MOST according to the song?  (Our Father loves us completely. That's the key to making it through suffering. And God's goodness is the guide to how we should be:  GOOD to each other.

More Questions

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how "stressed" have you been this year amid all the problems? (What's been the most stressful thing for you?)
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how well do you think you've been dealing with your stress? (Also have your family members vote "how well" they think YOU'VE been doing!)

Read Psalm 46 and Respond

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. (NRSV)

Questions:
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how "comforting" do you find the words of Psalm 46: 1-7?   
  • What "streams" are making you glad right now?
  • How is Psalm 46 similar to the song "Good Good Father" in its assurance (promise) to us?

Written by Neil MacQueen, member of the Rotation.org Writing Team

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Video 3: You're the God of the Hills and Valleys (and I am not alone)

Tauren Wells is a phenomenal singer, songwriter, and worship leader. His 2017 debut album and scripturally inspired lyrics won four Grammy nominations.

"Hills and Valleys" is a great description of 2020 and life in general. It's been mostly "valleys" for a lot of people, including our kids who have been missing their friends and schools. All of us, and especially those suffering job loss, despair, and depression, could use a little Tauren Wells’ perspective these days.

Hills and Valleys are biblical images! (See Ps 23 and 121 for starters.) They describe where we can expect God to be with us -- guiding us through the darkest valleys, coming from the hills to aid us when we lift our eyes, and taking us to the mountaintops where we are blessed and humbled. 

 Open, Save, and Share the PDF of this lesson (includes the video)

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/8iDuZv_5MQk (full version seen below)
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/p4rRCjrAyCs (piano-only version)

Lyrics to Ponder and Questions to Ask:

I've watched my dreams get broken
In You, I hope again
No matter what I know
I'm safe inside Your hands

  • Valleys: What "dreams" or plans did you have that were "broken" by the pandemic?
  • Hills: Name a "positive" result or perspective in your life  that's come out of the pandemic.

Play this game:  After watching the video once, ask everyone to say how many times will Tauren Wells sings "and I am not alone."   Watch the video a second time and count them to see who came close. 

  • Why do you think "and I am not alone" is so important to remember?
  • How are we helping each other "get through" (not be alone) our stresses and troubles these days?  To be supportive to others? 
  • What helps you feel closer to God?


Despair, fear, depression, difficult issues, and bad news can isolate us, make us feel like we are alone or the problems are too great. It's one of the most common laments in the Bible -- the fear that God has forgotten us and we are being overwhelmed. 

Look up the VERY LAST SENTENCE in the Gospel of Matthew. What does it say, and what does it mean?  [Matthew 28:20 Lo, I am with you always, even to the close of the age (end of time).]

Conclude with a reading of Psalm 139: 7-12 and answer the questions...

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

How similar are these words of the psalm to the video's song lyrics?

How do the words of the song and psalm make you feel about God? 
About making it through these difficult days?

Written by Neil MacQueen, member of the Rotation.org Writing Team

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