May 21

Acts 16:14-15

“When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.” vs. 15

We don’t know much about Lydia, only that she was a prosperous businesswoman in  Philippi, and a worshipper of God. She had encountered Paul along the river on the sabbath and had been moved by the Spirit to seek baptism for herself and her household. Not only that, she had offered her home to Paul and his friends as a lodging place, the first century equivalent of an Airbnb…and she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Her warm hospitality was undoubtedly one of the reasons Paul always remembered the Philippians with joy and considered them a shining light among the newly formed Christian communities. Strong forceful women of faith have always been at the forefront of outreach and evangelism among followers of Jesus. Even when the patriarchal system has sought to stifle the independent voices of women in the church, leaders like Lydia have found ways to connect with the Christ in new and exciting ways. Most of us have grown up in congregations with such female leaders. They may not have been pastors but they embodied the heart and the mind of Jesus and made sure their households were baptized and taught to walk in his loving ways. Their faithfulness is beyond reproach!

Thought for the Day: What strong women have nurtured my faith?

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