3 September, 2023
As I have said many a time, it amazes me how a word is said, or a situation comes about that reflects into the theme that is coming up for us to focus on in worship.
Last week Bruce and I, and John and Mary-Lou, took time to see Alison in the new play she is performing in. As the play drew to a close the two main characters made this statement:
“When God closes a door, he always opens a window” (or somethings really close to that!). And there we have it – our theme for this Sunday!
The quote comes from The Sound of Music – “When God closes a door, He opens a window”. I’m pretty sure it comes out of the mouth of the Mother Superior in a conversation with Maria. It may not be biblically based but it is still one we refer to and hope for. This is our last Bumper Sticker Theology phrase for this time as we head back into the Narrative Lectionary from September 6th.
We’ve got a lot going on this week. We have our communion service, and we get the joy of celebrating in the baptism of Molly. I think that I can say for Molly, God has been opening many windows for her, this act of publicly declaring her faith in God is but one of them that she is choosing to step through.
Life journeys are never simply going from one point to the next. Things get in the road, we get distracted and sometimes lost, we try to go places or do things that are not what God wants for us.
Our reading from Acts shows us some of the challenges Paul experienced in his travels. In our reading today there are various places in Paul’s journey where he is forbidden to enter or not allowed to enter until finally, he receives a vision to go to Macedonia. It was here that he meets Lydia, a woman who deals in purple cloth and who would become known as the first European Christian convert and later Saint Lydia of Thyatira.
It is clear that God had a certain route laid out for Paul and his companions, and if he hadn’t gone to Macedonia Lydia may not have been converted.
Paul seems always to keep his eyes, ears, and heart ready for the direction of God. He understands that God has a purpose for him and that that purpose will reveal itself as long as Paul is attentive. It can be really hard when things don’t go as we hope or plan. Just as it can be really hard to put our trust in God at times. But we see that Paul and many of the new believers did this all the time. Still, things did not go as planned, but God was present, God was preparing them for what next, God was always opening windows.