Monday, April 29, 2013

Easter 6 C - Acts 16:9-15

Acts 16:9-15

Even though Paul and his companions do enter Europe Through the Back Door® the Acts 16 travelogue would be more interesting if National Public Radio Travels with Rick Steves had recorded it. Luke, on the other hand, is more interested in conversion than conversation about where to dine and recline, though he could not possibly foresee how Europe would both shape and be shaped by Christianity. And so when one considers how the faith will one day be expressed in crown and cathedral it is worth noting that it begins with a woman named Lydia, who is not to be confused with the tattooed lady of the song. She was a convert to Judaism without a place to worship because Philippi must not have had the ten men necessary to start a synagogue. It would not have mattered if there were a hundred women worshipers of God without ten men the Mosaic law's requirement for starting a synagogue could not be met, so shall we gather at the river became her place of prayer. On the other hand there may have been a hundred synagogues in Philippi but not one of them would welcome a woman who dealt in an industry that boiled Mollusks to dye the cloth reserved for the rich and famous. So stuck between a rock and hard place she is eager to receive the faith that declared there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus. When the church is more conversant in who is worthy to dine and recline than the language of conversion we would do well to note that while the man of Macedonia called for help, it was Lydia who came to the rescue and started the church Paul prayed for and praised for its partnership in the Gospel.

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