Archive for the ‘St. Lydia’ Tag

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C   Leave a comment

Above:  Shadow Vessels from Babylon 5:  Shadow Dancing (1996)

(Image courtesy of PowerDVD and a legal DVD)

What Do You Want?

MAY 1, 2016

MAY 26, 2019

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THE FIRST READING

Acts 16:9-15 (Revised English Bible):

During the night a vision came to Paul: a Macedonian stood there appealing to him,

Cross over to Macedonia and help us.

As soon as he had seen this vision, we set about getting a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to take the good news there.

We sailed from Troas and made a straight run to Samothrace, the next day a Neapolis, and there to Philippi, a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.  Here we stayed for some days, and on the sabbath we went outside the city gate by the riverside, where we thought there would be a place of prayer; we sat down and talked to the women who had gathered there.  One of those listening was called Lydia, a dealer in purple fabric, who came from the city of Thyatira; she was a worshipper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul said.  She was baptized, and her household with her, and then she urged us,

Now that you have accepted me as a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.

And she insisted on our going.

THE RESPONSE

Psalm 67 (Revised English Bible):

May God be gracious to us and bless us,

may he cause his face to shine on us,

that your purpose may be known on earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, God;

let all peoples praise you.

Let nations rejoice and shout in triumph;

for you judge the peoples with equity

and guide the nations of the earth.

Let all the peoples praise you, God;

let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its harvest.

May God, our God, bless us.

God grant us his blessing,

that all the ends of the earth may fear him.

THE SECOND READING

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 (New Revised Standard Version):

In the spirit the angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day– and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

THE GOSPEL READING:  FIRST OPTION

John 14:23-29 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot),

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

THE GOSPEL READING:  SECOND OPTION

John 5:1-9 (The New Testament in Modern English–Revised Edition):

Some time later came one of the Jewish feast-days and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  There in in Jerusalem near the sheep-pens a pool surrounded by five arches, which has the Hebrew name of Bethzatha.  Under these arches a great many sick people were in the habit of lying; some of them were blind, some lame, an some had withered limbs.  (They used to wait there for the “moving of the water,” for a certain times an angel used to come down into the pool and disturb the water, and then the first person who stepped into the water after the disturbance would be healed of whatever he was suffering from.)  One particular man had been there ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there on his back–knowing that he had been like that for a long time, he said to him,

Do you want to get well again?

The sick man replied,

Sir, I haven’t got anybody to put me into the pool when the water is all stirred up.  While I’m trying to get there somebody else gets into it first.

Jesus said,

Get up, pick up your bed and walk!

At once the man recovered, picked up his bed and began to walk.

This happened on a Sabbath day….

The Collect:

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Prayer of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/prayer-of-praise-and-adoration-for-the-sixth-sunday-of-easter/

Prayer of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/prayer-of-dedication-for-the-sixth-sunday-of-easter/

 Babylon 5:  Shadow Dancing (1996):

https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/babylon-5-shadow-dancing-1996/

Feast of Sts. Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Holy Women (January 29):

https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/feast-of-sts-lydia-dorcas-and-phoebe-holy-wome-january-29/

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In the 1994-1998 science fiction series Babylon 5, set from 2258 to 2262, there are two ancient and rival species:  The Vorlons and the Shadows.  The Vorlons, lords of order, ask

Who are you?

The Shadows, agents of destruction, ask

What do you want?

As series creator J. Michael Straczynski has said during episode commentaries of DVD,

You have to know who you are before you can know what you want.

Also, what one wants says much about who one is.

What do we want?  Do we want to be well after having been ill for a long time?  Being well would change daily life.  Are we prepared for those new challenges?  At least being ill is familiar.

What do we want?  Do we want to be faithful to God?  If this leads to persecution, even martyrdom, are we prepared to pay the cost of discipleship?

What do we want?  Do we want God’s rule on earth?  Or do we benefit from the messed-up, human-created reality?

What does what we want reveal about who we are?  And we cannot not decide, as a poster says.  So we will make decisions, which will have consequences for ourselves and others.  Who we are matters greatly, as does what we want.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 16, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RUFUS JONES, QUAKER THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN FRANCIS REGIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BUTLER, ANGLICAN BISHOP

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Feast of Sts. Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Holy Women (January 29)   12 comments

Above: Healing of the Cripple and Raising of Tabitha, by Masolino da Panicale, 1425

Image in the Public Domain

Giving Women Their Due

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The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Acts 15:11-15 or Acts 9:36-42

Psalm 112:1-9 or Psalm 23

John 10:1-10

The Collect:

Almighty God, who inspired your servants Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe to uphold and sustain your Church by their loving and generous deeds: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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The Pauline attitude toward the proper role of women in the Church is a subject of frequent misunderstanding and distortion.  The much-quoted restrictions against female ministers is actually specific to certain kinds of women and is grounded in culture, time, and space.  It is not a universal principle.

And the Apostle Paul worked with women in his ministry, affirming their ministerial worth.  I think of Prisca, a.k.a. Priscilla.  Unfortunately, misogyny has become a tradition within certain forms of Christianity, so the value of women continues to be discounted.

Yet Biblical stories contradict this tradition.

Dorcas, a.k.a. Tabitha, appears in Acts 9:36-42.  A resident of Joppa, on the Mediterranean coast, and leader in her church, she devoted herself to helping widows.  Acts tells how after Dorcas/Tabitha died, St. Peter restored her to life.

Phoebe was a deacon or deaconess at the Church in Chenchreae, near Corinth, Greece.  At some point she moved to Rome and joined that church, to which St. Paul commended her.

According to Acts 16:11-15 Lydia was a Gentile sympathetic to Judaism.  A resident of Thyatira, she earned a good living as a seller of purple cloth, a luxury item.  Converted to Christianity by St. Paul, she invited the Apostle and St. Silas to stay in her house.  They accepted the invitation.  Shortly thereafter, Sts. Paul and Silas were in prison on trumped-up charges until an earthquake occurred and they converted the jailer and baptized his family.  Then Sts. Paul and Silas returned to Lydia’s home for a brief visit.

Women were often the most faithful people who assisted Jesus and St. Paul.  They functioned as deacons/deaconesses, financiers of ministry, Christian leaders, and doers of good deeds.  Women are just as good as men.  And for denominations and congregations to deny women equal access to all levels of Holy Orders is a sin and a denial of male-female equality through the Holy Spirit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2010

THE FEAST OF EVELYN UNDERHILL, ANGLICAN MYSTIC

Posted June 15, 2010 by neatnik2009 in January 29, Saints of the Bible

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