Hi All, Hope you’re having a good week, and everyone is staying healthy. Acts Chapter 16 1-15 this week!
In the story today, we hear about a lady called Lydia who becomes a follower of Jesus. She is a businesswoman who sells purple cloths, things and dye! Purple isn’t a very common colour. How many purple things can you find in your house in 2 minutes?! Start the clock and see what you come back with! Here’s my effort: (And yes, that is a pair of CLEAN boxers. And no, I’m not going to tell you who they belong to 😬)
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 16:1-15
Timothy Goes with Paul and Silas
1 Paul came to Derbe and Lystra. A follower named Timothy was there. Timothy’s mother was Jewish and a believer. His father was a Greek.
2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium respected Timothy and said good things about him. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to travel with him. But all the Jews living in that area knew that Timothy’s father was Greek. So Paul circumcised Timothy to please the Jews. 4 Paul and the men with him travelled from town to town. They gave the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches became stronger in the faith and grew larger every day.
Paul Is Called Out of Asia
6 Paul and the men with him went through the areas of Phrygia and Galatia. The Holy Spirit did not let them preach the Good News in Asia. 7 When they came near the country of Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia. But the Spirit of Jesus did not let them. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went to Troas. 9 That night Paul had a vision. In the vision, a man from Macedonia came to him. The man stood there and begged, “Come over to Macedonia. Help us!” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we immediately prepared to leave for Macedonia. We understood that God had called us to tell the Good News to those people.
Lydia Becomes a Christian
11 We left Troas in a ship, and we sailed straight to the island of Samothrace. The next day we sailed to Neapolis. 12 Then we went by land to Philippi, the leading city in that part of Macedonia. It is also a Roman colony. We stayed there for several days.13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the river. There we thought we would find a special place for prayer. Some women had gathered there, so we sat down and talked with them. 14 There was a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira. Her job was selling purple cloth. She worshiped the true God. The Lord opened her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying. 15 She and all the people in her house were baptized. Then Lydia invited us to her home. She said, “If you think I am truly a believer in the Lord, then come stay in my house.” And she persuaded us to stay with her.
This is from ShareFaith Kids:
This one is from Holy Tails:
This one has puppets Delbert and Lello and picks out the theme of sharing for 3-5 year olds:
This is a very short overview of Lydia from Saddleback Kids in their Slapstick Theatre style:
This one is different in that it is an audio retelling. It gives the characters personality and background, I liked it 😊
Ages 3-7: As usual, retell the story in a way your child/ren will understand. The main part to draw out is that Paul and Silas are joined by Timothy and make their way to Macedonia because Paul had a vision that told them to go there. When they got there, they couldn’t find a Synagogue to go to, but found some women praying by a river and so told them about Jesus. One of the ladies was called Lydia. She was a businesswomen who sold purple things. Purple was very expensive in those days and so she was a wealthy lady. Lydia decided she wanted to follow Jesus after hearing all about him and got baptised. (Explain/remind your child/ren about what baptism is.) Everyone else who lived with her got baptised too and Paul, Silas and Timothy stayed in her house for a while.
- Where did Paul, Silas and Timothy find Lydia and other ladies praying? (Next to a river)
- What was Lydia’s job? (She was a businesswoman who sold purple things)
- What did Lydia and everyone who lived in her house do after they decided to follow Jesus? (They got baptised)
- Purple is a beautiful colour and some lovely things are purple, like flowers, gems, butterflies, Ribena and beetroot! Do you like beetroot?! Why don’t you think of all the lovely things you like that are purple and say a prayer to thank God for them?
Ages 7-11: Read the passage with your child/ren and as usual, give them a chance to ask or reflect on anything that jumps out to them.
The start of the story might seem a bit odd to them as we heard a few weeks ago that there is no need for non-Jewish people to live like Jews and yet Timothy is circumcised. If your child/ren picks up on this, explain that Timothy’s mum was Jewish and as is part of Jewish law, this means that he will have been considered a Jew. So when he travels with Paul and Silas, it could cause problems when he tries to visit Synagogues so that’s why he gets circumcised, so he can go into the Synagogues too.
Another point you might want to discuss is that of mixed-races. Timothy had a Jewish mum and Greek dad. If you are from a mixed-race family, you might want to talk about your experiences together. What are the best bits of having a rich and diverse background?
If not, you might just want to highlight the reality that some people of mixed race can feel like they don’t belong in some places and that we should never make anyone feel that way. As we spoke about last week, God looks at the heart anyway, not where we might come from.
Point out that Lydia was a successful businesswoman dealing in purple dyes and things. It doesn’t say if she was married or had children, but because of her success, it is likely that her ‘household’ included servants. For her household to all become Christians after she did, she must have been well respected!
- Who joined Paul and Silas for this next part of Paul’s journeys? (Timothy)
- Why didn’t they go into Asia to preach the gospel there? (The Holy Spirit stopped them)
- Who had the vision of a man begging them to go to Macedonia? (Paul)
- When they got to Philippi, they didn’t go to a Synagogue to preach there, because there wasn’t one. Where did they go? (To a river as they thought it might be a place to gather for prayer. They were right.)
- Who did they find at the river praying? (A group of women including Lydia)
- What was Lydia’s job? (She was a dealer of purple goods)
- When Lydia heard what Paul was saying and decided to follow Jesus, what did she do? (She got baptised and so did the rest of her household)
- In the story, at the beginning, Paul, Silas and Timothy all listened and responded to God straight away when he told them not to go to Asia but to Macedonia. Lydia also responded straight away to God when He opened her mind and she acted immediately getting baptised. A challenge for us is to do the same and listen out to what God might be asking us to do.
- Like a Spot the Difference? Print it off and spot the 12! Or choose any of the print-offs and colour or puzzle away 😎
- How about making a Purple Picture? Have you got different shades of purple pens, crayon, pencils, papers, scraps of anything you can cut and glue down? Why not create a work of art using all the purple you can and while you do, thank God for all the lovely things you have to enjoy?
- Lydia and all her household were baptised as soon as they became followers of Jesus. Why not make a baptism scene using paper, colouring pens, pencils or crayons and some lolly stick people? You could make a Lydia and a Paul! Like this: