Friday, May 3, 2013

Responding with Openness (Again!)

Our texts for this sixth Sunday in Easter are John 14:23-29 and Acts 16:6-15, which can be read here.

Just to let you know, when you see Sunday's bulletin, the sermon title is NOT a typo.

Last week, my colleague and friend Elizabeth Hagan preached a great sermon for us  on the topic of Responding with Openness to different ideas and different people as a way of expressing resurrection in the world.  It may seem silly that this week's sermon is again titled "Responding with Openness," but try as I did to choose a different "responding" word to accompany this week's story of Paul and Lydia--and there were possibilities (Responding with Vision, Responding with Risk, Responding with Attentiveness, and Responding with Discernment all made the final list)--"Openness" was the word I could not avoid.  It is a key word in our passage, which says that God opened Lydia's heart to respond to the good news.  But it's a story with openness all over it--the opening of a whole new frontier to the Gospel message, the gospel preached in the open rather than in a synagogue, the opening of a home to strangers--all in response to the news of the risen Christ.

So this week, we will be thinking about what it means to Respond with Openness...Again!  Because I think it is important enough to deal with twice, first as it occurred in the lives of Peter and Cornelius, and now as it happens in the lives of Paul and Lydia--and as it happens in our own lives as we make room for God's Spirit among us.  So forgive me for repetitiveness, but let's think together--again--about how we, too, may be those who respond with openness!

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