Home | Sunday

A Dream and a Journey

In the years after Jesus's life, there were many people who traveled around from city to city, teaching about Jesus. These teachers were called "apostles." Churches were formed and people's lives were changed as they became the very first Christians.

Here is a story about the apostle Paul. The story was written by someone who was traveling with Paul.

Part 1: Listening to a Dream

During the night Paul had a dream with a vision of a man from the country of Macedonia. The man was standing and asking him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to go there and teach.

We traveled by ship. Here is the journey:

From Troas we put out to sea
and sailed straight for Samothrace,
and the next day we went on to Neapolis.
From there we traveled to Philippi, a city in Macedonia.

Macedonia was the country Paul had dreamed about. We stayed there to teach about Jesus.

Part 2: A prayer meeting by the river

On the Sabbath, the day of worship, were in the city of Philippi. We went outside the city gate to the river, where we heard that we would find a group who worshipped and prayed there every week, outdoors, by the river.

We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, who was a person who sold fabric. She sold beautiful purple fabric.

Lydia already loved God, and when Paul talked about Jesus, the Lord opened her heart to respond. She knew that for many generations, religious teachers had said that God promised to send someone special, a Messiah, to the world. When she heard Paul teaching, her heart told her that Jesus was that someone special, the son of God, the Messiah, who was sent to save the world.

Lydia soon became a leader in the church in that city. Soon, the group of Christians started to meet at her house, because in those days many of the churches met in people's houses.

(1.) Would you travel someplace just because of a dream? The apostle Paul did exactly that. The Bible often talks about people receiving a message from God. If God is invisible, how can people receive a message from him? A big voice? A dream? A quiet feeling?
(2.) Many Christians describe a moment when they first KNEW that they wanted to follow Jesus. In this story Lydia had always loved God, but at that moment she KNEW that Jesus was someone special, the Messiah, and wanted to learn all about him and be part of the newly growing Christian church. In your church tradition, do you hear people talking about a moment when they first really knew that they wanted to be Christian believers?
(3.) Could you say that Lydia felt a message from God? Did God talk to her with a big voice or a quiet feeling?
(4.) If you were making a play out of this story, what would you include?

Craft Ideas:
- Map coloring page
- Sketches -- a ship journey, a prayer meeting by a river

View as Word document (booklet form): A Dream and a Journey

August 2014