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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Woman: Lydia

Purple Dressmaker's Mannequin

Some women are born with their own style. Lydia of Philippi was such a woman.

Lydia is often called the first European convert to Christianity.  And there are many reasons she deserves our admiration.  To start, Lydia was wildly successful in business. She undoubtedly represented the “new” modern woman of her day -- a business woman who enjoyed profitable trading throughout the Graeco-Roman world. Lydia was a dealer in purple cloth -- and purple dye was the most expensive and sought after dye in the Roman world. Which means Lydia had plenty of capital. As a seller of purple, expensive and even royal textiles, she was probably one of the richest and most influential women in her region.

Importantly, Lydia used her power and influence when it counted.  As a homeowner, she used her home as a refuge for the Apostles – her home was even the meeting place for the first church in Philippi. 

One of the reasons I admire Lydia is she was both cool and spiritual. And she didn’t apologize for either.

I’m not sure if Lydia was anyone’s biological mother.  But I do know that she was a spiritual mother to many.  She goes on in the book of Acts to risk her reputation (maybe even her life) for her faith.  And she did so being First-Century power woman. Not a shrinking violent!

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