Called to Serve
We 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.
Acts 16:11-15, 40 NRSV
Tyrian purple was an expensive dye produced by predatory sea snails native to the eastern Mediterranean area. As a seller of purple cloth, Lydia was probably wealthy. Even though Paul’s vision was of a Macedonian man which compelled him to immediately go to Macedonia, his first encounter was with a group of faithful women and he was open to the adjustment to his vision.
Thank you for welcoming me into Your holy family. I know that the world can bring many challenges and that life has many trials. For such times, keep me in Your grace. Remind me that we begin, live, and conclude our lives as members of Your household. Help me to embrace unity with other Christians because we have a common faith. Help me to share what you have blessed me to steward. Enable me to serve you and our family with love.
NCC’s 2021 Lenten Reflections follow the Committee on the Uniform Series plan for reading and studying the Bible. Each Wednesday, we will share the scripture from the week’s Sunday Bible verses. We call on each of us to reflect on these passages of scripture during the seven weeks of Lent in light of your own experiences and relationships.