Worship Preview


ACTS 16:9-15

We know the Apostle Paul’s travels took him throughout Aegean and Mediterranean lands. It is exhausting to think about what it must have taken to cover so much ground.

In today’s portion, Paul has gone with his people from Troas (on the western edge of what is now Turkey) to Samothrace, an island in the Aegean, to Neapolis and from there to Philippi – a large city and Roman colony in Macedonia – where they stayed “for a few days.”

On the Sabbath, Paul goes to the river to pray and he stays to talk to some women gathered there. Among them is a “certain woman named Lydia” who listens to what Paul has to say. On the strength of that, she and her household are baptized (it is said she is the first Christian convert) and she offers hospitality to Paul and his cohort.

This little passage from Acts is part geography lesson and part a glimpse of a woman who knows what she wants acts on that. Admirable and rare, for we know women had little power to act on anything. On the sketchy information in Acts 16, we infer character and motivation — which is all we can do when the Bible mentions a woman – even when it gives her a name. Lydia has been given sainthood in some Christian denominations.

We also see that the powerful message of Jesus is spreading to the far reaches of the world.

Rev. Carl Hilton VanOsdall is with us via Zoom from his new home near Seattle, WA. Join in at 4 pm for CCP weekly Communion and for Joys and Concerns. Tom Jones is away but he has pre-recorded music. Zoom links appear in your Sunday morning email. Do not show up at St. Paul’s. Zoom only today. Assume this: Whenever Carl is preaching, everyone will be on Zoom.