When our youth fast for the World Vision 30 hour famine, we always have a worship service. In it, we do something to remember children who die of hunger related diseases: 1 child every 3 seconds. This year we made handprints on 300 pieces of paper, arranged like a cross. They represented the number of children who’d died in 15 minutes.
We found it so beautiful and meaningful that we kept it for worship. Then we replaced it with a cross of purple cloth which we're keeping through Lent.
When I went to the fabric store to buy a bolt of purple cloth, I was reminded of the character of Lydia found in Acts 16. She sold purple cloth. It was a precious commodity used by royalty and the upper class. Our use of purple for the cross serves as a reminder that Jesus was a different kind of king.
The women’s Bible study studied Lydia yesterday.
Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching; “the Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.” (Acts 16:14). She was baptized along with her household and it caused her to rearrange her life. She opened up her home and coffers to support the new ministry in Philippi. Her house became ground central for the church.
Lydia’s is a stewardship story. It’s also a story about someone growing in faith. Those two things - stewardship and faith – are always related. As we are drawn into faith by God, we want to respond like Lydia: rearranging our lives to participate in God’s ministry.Rearranging. To give an extra $25 a month to our congregation, as many of our households are doing, takes some rearranging. To spend 30 hrs fasting for world hunger takes rearranging. To make space for the cross in our worship service took some major, literal, rearranging. (Thanks to Mark for spending so much time moving chairs!).
It raises this question: what in your life - especially your faith life - has caused you to rearrange?