Acts 16:9-15, New International Reader's Version
9 During the night Paul had a vision. He saw a man from Macedonia standing and begging him. “Come over to Macedonia!” the man said. “Help us!” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia. We decided that God had called us to preach the good news there.
Lydia Becomes a Believer in Philippi
11At Troas we got into a boat. We sailed straight for Samothrace. The next day we went on to Neapolis. 12From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony. It is an important city in that part of Macedonia. We stayed there several days.
13On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate. We walked down to the river. There we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered together. 14One of the women listening was from the city of Thyatira. Her name was Lydia, and her business was selling purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to accept Paul’s message. 15She and her family were baptized. Then she invited us to her home. “Do you consider me a believer in the Lord?” she asked. “If you do, come and stay at my house.” She succeeded in getting us to go home with her.
Purple cloth square (The 3x3 square size from the first week of this series; but this week, the cloth should be purple in color)
How do you prepare for coming to church? Can someone tell me what you do before your family comes to church? (Allow children to respond.) Just like we must prepare and get ready before we come to church, in the same way, we must be prepared to tell people about Jesus.
How do you and your family feel when you arrive at church? Do you feel welcome here? What makes you feel welcome? Are you greeted by someone with kindness? (Allow children to respond.)
Today’s scripture passage teaches us about someone who was prepared to tell others about Jesus. Why should we tell others about Jesus? How can we tell others about Jesus? (Allow children to answer.) Those are all great ways to tell someone about Jesus. We can talk about how Jesus loves us or about how Jesus shows us how to live.
A woman named Lydia lived in Macedonia. She listened to what Paul said about Jesus. She believed it was true, so she became a follower of Jesus. Everyone in her house was baptized. That’s one example of why it is important to tell others about Jesus.
I have a purple piece of cloth for each of you to remind you of Lydia’s business of selling purple cloth. Purple cloth was rare, which made Lydia’s business very important. She opened her heart and welcomed people with her acts of hospitality.
What does the word “hospitality” mean? (Allow children to answer.) The dictionary defines the word as “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests.” Being a welcoming person certainly is one way we tell others through our actions about Jesus by making them feel welcome.
This week, place the purple cloth on your pillow and each night before you go to sleep, say your bedtime prayer and remember when you wake up to spend the day telling others about Jesus.
Loving and gracious God, thank you for the Bible, which gives us the stories of other people who tell the world about Jesus. The Bible helps us to prepare for those moments in our lives as well. Remind us that any time is the right time to tell people about you. Amen.