Lydia has long been on our short list of baby girl names, and I've always been fond of this short little story about Baptism, so I was glad to share it with the Itty Bitty Lutherans this week at Sunday School. Before even planning the lesson I knew I'd need some purple cloth. The closest fabric store is a bit of a hike, so we ventured into our local resale shop and found this purple T-shirt on sale for $1. Who needs a fabric store?I had more than enough fabric for my little craft, so I couldn't resist making a chapel baby Lydia to help tell the story.
My little cloth Lydia acted out her story as I changed the words to the song Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man:
Lydia made the purple cloth,
The purple cloth made she.
She went down to the riverside,
For her friends she wanted to see.
When Paul and friends join her that day,
The Holy Spirit had her see,
(Spoken) That Jesus died for her sins!
And she was baptized that day!
And she was baptized that day!
That really is her short, sweet story from Acts 16. Lydia made and sold expensive purple cloth. She was sitting down by the river in Philippi. They didn't have a synagogue in Philippi, so when Paul was in town he went to the river to pray. The Holy Spirit was already at work! He opened Lydia's heart to Paul's words about Christ and she was baptized. Lydia's household was also baptized.
One of the remarkable things about this story is that Lydia's household may have included children! Likewise, the parents of our Itty Bitty Lutherans are brought to the font by their parents! God is good!
Before I share our craft, here are a few notes about making chapel babies. All you need is a square of fabric and stuffing for the head. I like to spary a little perfume on the cotton before stuffing! Place the stuffing in the middle of the fabric square and tie it off tightly with a string or ribbon. Here, I just cut a thin strip of fabric to use as the tie.
To make arms, just tie a knot in the corners on both sides of the head. The front and back corners hand down to form the dress.
Traditionally, chapel babies are made out of hankies. I believe girls often made the babies out of a loved one's handerchief who was away at war. Romantic idea, isn't it? I adore their simplicity - and the fact that, made of all soft materials, chapel babies are always well behaved in church!
Our Lydia craft is simple too! We made little woven bracelets. Use pinking shears to cut strips of purple cloth. Each child needs three strands. Using a knit is great because the fabric rolls into itself and is nice and stretchy. Tie the ends in a knot for the Itty Bitty to hold while Mommy or Daddy braids. The purple cloth reminds us of Lydia. The three strands remind us of her, and our, baptism - when our sins were washed clean by water and the Word, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The braid reminds us of how our baptism binds us to Christ, our living redeemer!
I was baptized, happy day!
All my sins were washed away!
God looked down on me and smiled!
I became His own dear child!
(I never loved that song until I heard my own sweet children singing it while playing quietly together!)
Have a good week!
Remember, next week we'll be adding pages to our book, so please remember to bring it along!