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 – a worshipper of God.
Lydia was way cool.
I’m sure Paul’s vision and the missionary journey in the towns before Phillipi are interesting, But this week I’d prefer to talk about Lydia. She loved God. She ran a business. She listened eagerly. (Oh that we ALL would do that!) She was the head of her household. She offered hospitality to strangers! She was persistent. She heard and believed. And 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.
God’s love and welcome to those who are usually on the margins is evident in this week’s reading. 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.
The early Christians were continuing to learn that God’s neighborhood – everywhere – is for everyone.