Collective Worship

A message from Mrs Brown:

Week Commencing 20/07/2020

Bible Characters – 4: Lydia


AIM: To get to know who Lydia was, and to explore how she showed a ‘risky’ faith in God.
BIBLE PASSAGES TO READ TOGETHER: Acts 16:11-15 & 40
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+16%3A11-15&version=NCV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+16%3A40&version=NCV

BACKGROUND:
Lydia seems to be the first person in mainland Europe to become a Christian. She is already a follower of God, but she responds to Paul’s teaching and her life changes. She is a bit of a mystery – why does she run a business and own a large home on her own, when it was unusual for women in the 1st Century to do so without a man? However, she takes a risk in welcoming foreign men into her house and takes a risk in following Jesus. How can we take risks for God today? Not stupid risks or ones that are needlessly dangerous, but ones that will develop and encourage our own faith?


BEGINNING:
Ask someone in your home to share something about their last few days; what has made them happy? What has brought a smile to their face? Then share your own good and bad things.

INTRODUCTION:
Watch the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade clip here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFntFdEGgws&feature=youtu.be
• What does the clip have to do with risk and faith?


Faith often involves taking a risk and will sometimes require us to take a ‘leap of faith’.
With this in mind, answer the following questions (answers are at the end – no cheating!)


1. Which famous person risked his life in 1953 to become the first person to climb Everest?
2. Which famous person risked his own money to start companies like PayPal and Tesla?
3. Which famous person risked everything to get a book about a wizard published?
4. Which famous person took risks to try and build the first car everyone could afford?


 What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? Why did you take the risk? What happened afterwards?
 Why do you think taking risks in life is important?


EXPLORING THE BIBLE STORY:
Read the story of Lydia in Acts 16:11-15 & 40.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+16%3A11-15&version=NCV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+16%3A40&version=NCV

Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, kind of like the Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors of her day! She owned a house big enough for her household, and for guests like Paul and Silas to stay. A church ended up meeting in her house. She was a Gentile (non-Jew) who worshiped God and became a Jew. When she heard the gospel, Lydia became the first Christian convert in her town. She became one of the leaders of the church in Philippi – the church that the book of Philippians is written to.
Lydia is a great example of risky faith – she would have been a known figure in her town, but she doesn’t hide her faith. Her household came to faith in God too and publicly affirmed it through baptism. She shows outrageous hospitality, despite her guests Paul and Silas getting into trouble with the authorities!

Some questions to consider:
1. What strikes you most about this story?
2. What does this story tell you about God?
3. What is Lydia like? What impresses you most about her?
4. Are you like Lydia? Or not? Why?
5. What kind of ‘risks’ do you take in your life with regards to your faith?


CREATIVE RESPONSE:
One important aspect of Lydia’s faith was her hospitality – opening her home and welcoming people, offering them
food, shelter and safety. The Catholic priest Henri Nouwen once said:

“Hospitality
means primarily the creation of free space where the
stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an
enemy.”

door.jpg

On a plain piece of paper, draw a picture of an open door. Around the outside of the door, write words / sentences that explain why offering hospitality might be risky or cause problems. On the inside of the open door write words / sentences that show why offering hospitality is wonderful and brilliant!


PRAYER:
Dear Lord,
Thank you for the story of Lydia,
Thank you for her example of a faith that is prepared to take risks.
Help us to understand that sometimes taking risks is the best way to achieve great things.
Help us to show hospitality to those we meet and those in need.
Amen.


Material adapted from: YCW Magazine Author: Alex Taylor

Risk Takers Quiz answers:
1. Which famous person risked his life in 1953 to become the first person to climb Everest? Sir Edmund Hilary
2. Which famous person risked his own money to start companies like PayPal and Tesla? Elon Musk
3. Which famous person risked everything to get a book about a wizard published? J K Rowling
4. Which famous person took risks to try and build the first car everyone could afford? Henry Ford