11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
There is such beautiful color in the telling of this story. Lydia, who is from Thyatira, a city in Asia is now apparently living in Europe. (Paul has recently arrived from Asia) She is Jewish, wealthy and a business woman. Custom required the presence of at least 10 Jewish men to form a synagogue, it appears from this story that there not 10 Jewish men in Philippi and so Lydia and her friends meet at a convenient place near a tributary stream for ritual cleansing and prayer. The Christian church that is about to be “birthed” in this place will become one of the most loving and supportive churches Paul will ever experience. The elements of their DNA can already be seen at their beginning: generosity, love and care, an openness to apostolic teaching and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Be silent today