May 22nd, 2022- “The women of Philippi”

Photo of women
2022-05-22 Sixth Sunday of Easter 11:00 AM - "The women of Philippi”

Dear all,

Before he departs from his disciples, Jesus assures them that they will not be left bereaved or orphaned. Although physically absent, he will be present with them in the person of the Holy Spirit. So what does that look like? It is one of Luke’s main themes in The Acts of the Apostles. Some have suggested that it might be more appropriately titled “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” since the role of the apostles in the book is mostly to listen and respond to the initiatives of the Holy Spirit. It is a picture of the church as Spirit led. Thus Peter justifies his eating with gentiles not as a personal decision based on a careful reading of the scriptures; he says to those in Jerusalem who are scandalized that he has simply obeyed the clear leading of the Holy Spirit, revealed in dream and in circumstances. (It would be wonderful if we could come to a consensus about what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church in our day).

In tomorrow’s reading, Paul and his companions are wrestling with the question of where to go next in their mission to the gentiles. They have run into road blocks. The Holy Spirit is telling them not to preach in Asia or enter Bithynia (northern Turkey). It is then that Paul, like Peter, has a dream from God and an unexpected way opens for ministry in the city of Greek city of Philippi. Instead of a using a synagogue run by men as his launching pad to communicate the Good News, Paul is welcomed by a community of women who meet for prayer outside the city gates. One in particular, a gentile woman of wealth named Lydia, exhibits great openness and hospitality. And so the first church in Europe is established in a way which is unique.

Order of Service

Call to Worship
Hymn 39: “God of glory, God of grace”
Prayer of Adoration
Prayer of Confession
Declaration of Grace and Lord’s Prayer
Responsive reading: Psalm 67
Acts 16: 6-15
Anthem: “The Lord bless you and keep you” (Rutter)
Revelation 21: 10 – 22:5
John 14: 23- 29
Hymn 641: “One more step along the world I go”
Sermon: “Lydia’s household”
Hymn: 260: “Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks ”
Offering and Offertory
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn 314: “God is love; come heaven, adoring”
“Go Now in Peace”