“Teaching of the Week”
Preview for Service of Word and Sacrament, May 26, 2019
The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C)
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tiburon, California
This weekly study guide seeks to help us prepare for the upcoming Sunday service and teaching.
Call to Worship
One: Friends our help is in the very One who made heaven and earth.
Many: We offer praise and pray for trust.
One: God will not let your foot be moved, nor will God tire of watching you.
Many: We offer thanks and pray for guidance.
One: God will keep your going out and your coming in.
Many: We journey with an awareness of this sacred presence.
God, you have promised to be with us. Help us to trust in that presence, to be unafraid to explore and venture out. Keep us mindful, as well, when it is time to come back in, returning home. Forgive us if on our journeys we take paths toward hurtful places and lead others astray, and set us on a better way. Make us worthy companions of one anothers and gracious givers and
receivers of hospitality along the way. Amen.
Sermon Focus & Title Gate or River Robert McClellan
It can appear life is moving in a straight line with a clear path, and then all kinds of surprises crop up. We meet people along the way, face challenges, or simply have experiences that take us in unexpected directions. In many ways, the spiritual life is about being open to what is being invited in these surprise moments and directions. How can we be pliable and open to the leading of Spirit? Today’s readings take us to the edge, where interesting and unexpected things happen.
A Song of Ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and for evermore.
9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us.
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise No. 12
In Deepest Night No. 785
Quotes, Questions & Prompts for Reflection, Discussion, and Prayer
“Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.”
-- Kurt Vonnegut
1. Recall some movements in your life when things took an unexpected turn and yet you found God in it. What happened?
2. How do you practice listening for God’s leading in your life? How could you?
3. When energizing things have taken place in your life, where have you been? What have you been doing? How did you respond?