Vol. 5 Issue 17 | April 26, 2019
Three Things This Week
1. We Love the Earth
Why it’s time to change the conversation: Aiming to be this generation’s “We Are The World,” the video misses the mark with crass lyrics and sophomoric humor (warning: language). Whether it’s Lil Dickey or the Extinction Rebellion, it’s tempting to dismiss the environmental conversation based on its loudest voices, but that would be a mistake. What if Christians joined the conversation? How would it change? As believers, we’re called to care for God’s good creation, to steward her limited resources, and join God in the renewal of all things. “One cannot fully worship the Creator and at the same time destroy His creation.” Help your teens navigate this divisive conversation not by worshipping the earth, but by worshipping the creator through their care of His beautiful creation.
2. Summer Blockbusters
What it is: Rising temperatures and the end of school can mean only one thing, blockbuster movie season is coming.
Why it’s same ol’, same ol’: Hollywood has a well-worn formula for luring students to theaters during summer break: larger-than-life franchises (Avengers: EndGame and SpiderMan 5), spinoffs (Men In Black: International), and remakes (Toy Story 4 and The Lion King). And while these movies are visually entertaining, they often lack vibrant, transformative storytelling that surprises, confronts, and convicts audiences. “Entertainment gives you a predictable pleasure…art leads to transformation.” Thankfully, the film industry doesn’t live by blockbusters alone. This summer, encourage your teens to catch smaller indie films like Gaza or The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind that might break their heart and change how they see the world.
3. Beyonce’s Homecoming
What it is: Queen Bey recently released two major projects with a double-length live album and a new Netflix documentary highlighting her headlining performance at last year’s Coachella Music Festival.
Why everyone loves her: Both projects are called Homecoming, but the documentary provides an “intimate, in-depth look” at the eight-month-long process that made her two-night Coachella concert seem so perfect. Mixed in with the messages of female empowerment (warning: strong language) and black cultural exposure is a peek into Beyonce’s struggle to balance motherhood and work, long hours of practice and peak performance. In some circles, Beyonce is almost worshipped as a goddess. If your daughter watched the documentary, what did she think? Why is Beyonce so inspirational to teens and moms alike? Are we seeing the real Beyonce or is this all just perfectly staged?
Bonus! Resource Spotlight: Did you know anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues impacting teens today? The drive to be perfect, sports, home-work, social media, college-prep, and relationships can all be a burden too heavy for our kids to bear. To help them manage all the things, our team just released a documentary on anxiety designed specifically for you to watch with your teen. Watch the free preview today, it’s incredible.
It’s Sunday, But Monday Is Coming…
On Sunday morning, Christians throughout the world gathered to celebrate the Risen Savior and His defeat of the powers and principalities of darkness and death. At the same time, hundreds of Christian worshippers in Sri Lanka were murdered in their pews by suicide bombs. The juxtaposition was startling. How do we proclaim Jesus is Lord in a world still filled with so much evil? If Easter was God’s grand announcement that everything’s going to be ok, why are we still so afraid? When we read the Easter story, it appears we’re in good company.
In the early dawn that first Easter Sunday, the disciples are hiding behind locked doors in fear. The women, the only ones brave enough to go to the tomb, approach in the cover of darkness out of fear “because the one who they ventured to visit had been executed by the state,” and maybe they were next. Upon looking into the tomb they saw an angel in white and became even more afraid. In fact the earliest manuscripts of Mark’s Gospel has the story ending with the women fleeing the tomb trembling and bewildered, saying nothing to anyone because they were terrified. It’s Easter morning, and everyone’s afraid.
2,000 years later, there’s still a lot to be afraid of. Our children are growing up in the age of anxiety. The same evil powers that put Jesus to death continue to haunt every human heart. But we are Easter people living not only in the old age of anxiety, but in the new age of resurrection. Those opening words from both the angel and Jesus that first Easter morning reverberate through the ages to us today: “Do not be afraid.” But terrorism still exists. Do not be afraid. There are wars and rumors of wars. Do not be afraid. The environment is in peril. Do not be afraid. Racism and militant nationalism are on the rise. Do not be afraid. My daughter is learning to drive. Do not be afraid.
Easter isn’t permission to pretend for one day that everything is fine. Jesus’ resurrection doesn’t remove us from the pain of this world, but it does defy it. Easter gives us the courage to face our fears knowing God has an answer. There’s still plenty of things to fear, but we need not be afraid. Living in the age of resurrection reminds us that God has an answer to all our pain, all our sorrow, all our anxiety, and all our fears. “Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.”Jesus is alive and on the move. Death and darkness, you better be afraid. Where now is your sting?
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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