By Sarah Levesque (Rated G)
Lydia of Philippi is one of the comparatively few women mentioned by name in the Acts of the Apostles, but very little is known about her. Acts 16:11ff tells us that Lydia sold purple cloth, that she was from Thyatira, and she was a believer who took Paul, Silas, and Luke into her home when they arrived in Philippi. From these few things, we can gather a few other facts. Lydia was rich, for the cloth she sold was expensive to make or buy. She was likely either unmarried or widowed, for the business and the house are clearly designated as hers rather than a man’s. She was a good listener and open to hearing the truth, for she accepted what Paul and his friends had to say though the Good News is easy to dismiss when one is set in one’s ways. Finally, she was generous, insisting Paul, Silas, and Luke stay with her while in Philippi. It seems like the first church in Philippi was at her house, for after Paul and Silas were released from an unjust stay in prison, they returned to Lydia’s house where, Acts 16:40 tells us, they “saw and encouraged the brothers”.
May we, like Lydia, be good listeners to the truth and be generous in all we do.