Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry for i.ucc
In this week’s Bible reading from Acts 16:9-15, Paul had a dream. When he woke up he said it was time to head to Macedonia. After travelling through Troas, Samothrace and Neapolis, (say all those names 10 times fast you win a prize!) they came to Phillipi. There they met Lydia – the first Christian convert in Europe.
I love this story and what it has to say about Lydia.
I don’t really know what to say about Paul’s vision and the missionary journey in the towns before Phillipi, But I love reading about Lydia. She loved God. She ran a business. She was the head of her household. She offered hospitality to strangers! She heard and believed. I think that after she and her household were baptized – they started telling people about what they’d experienced. Women, men, children – everyone started hearing about Jesus because of this extraordinary woman.
This reading continues to speak about God’s love and welcome to those who are usually on the margins. It seems that no one told Lydia that running a business and a household was men’s work. It seems that no one told Lydia that men are the ones who get all the recognition and leadership when it comes to following Jesus.
It seems as though the early Christians were continuing to learn that God’s neighborhood – everywhere – is for everyone.