This week, we get to hear about one of my favorite characters in the Bible—Lydia. She was a wealthy cloth merchant in Philippi, hanging out by a river when Paul and Silas came to town. She heard the word, and was baptized, and took Paul and Silas into her home.
Now, there’s a couple things that I like about Lydia. She was a very successful business owner in a time when women didn’t always get much opportunity. She’s also proof that even when conditions are terrible towards women, women are strong enough to work through them. And I like that she, rather than putting up a shell around her wealth, opened her house to Paul and Silas, and became a founding member of the church of Philippi—a church that Paul loved and remembered with great fondness.
Lydia welcomed wanderers and strangers who brought her good news, and in return, she housed them and fed them, and housed and fed the church. As we have learned in our mystagogy class, for the first few centuries, the christian church met in homes or around large meals, and those meals in turn went to feed the poor. They were literally revolutionary, because at the meal of Christ all were fed spiritually and bodily, rich and poor alike.
Lydia is an inspiration to us: here at OSA, we bring our gifts of money and bread and wine, and we have fellowship time to feed us. Can we, like Lydia, learn to use what we have to feed people, spiritually and bodily?
I think we can. I think we do. I hope God continues to show us the way.