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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, May 17, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Acts 16:9–15

During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

We therefore set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 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. (NRSV)

Reflection
Every time I read this passage, I was struck by Lydia’s words “If you consider me a believer in the Lord.” I found this to be such an interesting statement given the situation. She and the members of her household had gathered by the river on the sabbath. She listened to Paul’s message, and her heart was opened to it. She and the members of her household then were baptized. Given this scenario, why would she say, “If you consider me a believer?”

Did she think Paul did not feel that her belief was true? Why would she think that Paul would doubt her sincerity?

I found her next statement, though, even more interesting. Lydia told Paul, “Come and stay at my house.” Lydia displayed her belief by inviting Paul and his companions, people whom she just met, to stay in her home. Lydia welcomed strangers with open arms. Lydia’s story demonstrates the power of being open to meeting new people.

Prayer
Dear Lord, help me to embrace those I do not know and welcome new experiences. Amen.

Written by Pamela Spann, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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