One of my favorite women in the scriptures is Lydia. Here’s what happens when Paul and his companions encounter her:
“On the sabbath day we went outside the gate [of Philippi] 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 16.13-15)
Some great themes come together with St. Lydia—baptism, hospitality, and.....purple! Today is her feast day, and I love the fact that today is also the anniversary of my own baptism. Plus, I love the color purple. And a quality that I need to love and work more on is hospitality.
But back to the story. Paul and Silas are arrested, but the authorities realize that it was an illegal arrest. They don’t want to get in trouble, so they release the pair and ask them to leave town. (Please!) But Paul and Silas realize that Lydia’s hospitality offers them another choice. “After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed” (v. 40).
What wonderful things come from a purple baptism!
(The image is from fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/325/6/3/purple_water_drop_4_by_shayne_gray-d33c9pf.jpg)