Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C
May 19, 2019
John 14: 23-29/ Acts 16:9-15/ Psalm 67/ Revelations 21:10, 22-22:5
Call to Worship
One: We want the High Holy Mountain,
Many: But find ourselves just here in the ordinary.
One: We want a new city, heaven sent,
Many: But find ourselves just here in this place.
One: We want the crystal Water of Life to flow past,
Many: But find ourselves just here in the gutter.
One: We want to see the Lord’s face,
Many: And we find the mundane lit up with God’s Glory like threads of shining purple in gray cloth.
All: Let us worship the Lord of the glorious-everyday.
Prayer of Confession
Lydia dealt in purple cloth, worshiped God & listened. The Lord opened her up to Goodness & New Life. Let us confess with her attentiveness to the Spirit so we might hear God.
God of all blessings, you have entrusted with this household of yours, this Church. This place of holiness. Have we made it a place of prayer? Have we sat down &listened for you with our souls open and receptive? Forgive us when we do not bring the whole household to transformation and New Life as Lydia did hers. Let her faithfulness prevail upon us and guide us in your way.
Assurance of Pardon
Friends, God is gracious to us. The Holy Spirit’s blessings fill our ears. Goodness shines forth from the countenance of Christ & leaves us with nothing but peace. Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.
I really hope that you choose to give Lydia her due in your preaching this week. There is so much to explore about her & about faith in these few bits of text in Acts. Our boys, Paul, Silas, & Timothy… They’re great, heroes of the faith & all, but boy are they LOST & a LONG way
from home when they encounter Lydia. The text puts some face-saving theological spin on it saying the Spirit of Jesus kept “not allowing” them to go certain places. It seems to me that Lydia rescues them from spending another night down by the river. Her home becomes their refuge. It’s where they end up after they get busted out of jail. Lydia is a significant source of sustaining rest as these wayward boys go about their Apostle duties.
I love Lydia’s story because of how out of the ordinary everything is. Amazing things happen in scripture when things are out of the ordinary. Should Lydia be running a business, running a household, inviting foreign men into her home? I’m sure her neighbors tsked & called it all very out of the ordinary. But so what? She was and did all those things. Through them, God opened her up to life changing faith. And she listened. So may we all with God’s help.
It is a privilege that we get to know her name and her story. It is an honor that we get to preach about her this week. So I hope you do. And as you celebrate Lydia, I hope you lift up all the other unnamed women who sheltered, fed and funded the early apostles. I hope you give voice to the women who carried on their mission in their homes and communities; nurturing and fostering faith so it could take root. I hope you acknowledge all the women, even today, who support the man in the pulpit even as they are denied access to preach.
Those apostles needed Lydia just as much as she wanted to hear what they knew of Christ. Her faithfulness prevailed upon them and I pray that the faithfulness of so many more women can take on leadership in our Church. Clearly, God wills it so. Let us not stand in God’s way.