â€œOne of those women was Lydia, a Gentile God-worshipper from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in purple cloth.â€ (Acts 9:14)
They met down by the river, some Jews, a handful of Gentiles, and the usual suspects from other places beyond the city of Philippi.
Paul, with Timothy and Silas, ventured to the riverbank. It was Friday, the Sabbath. According to the 16th chapter in Acts, theyâ€™d been in Philippi only a few days. Their visit to this strange-to-them speck on the map of Romeâ€™s empire was inspired by a vision Paul had one night.
In the vision a man of Macedonia urged Paul to come and help.
To bring the good news of Jesus?
To bring the good news of Jesus!
And so a dream with a mysterious man from a faraway locale compelled these spirit-fed, God-led disciples of Jesus to venture into the unfamiliar. They chose to trust a midnight hint, a divine nudge, a vision that lingered after waking.
â€œ. . . and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: â€˜You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.â€™â€ (Luke 3:22)
I want to convince or coerce all Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Shintoist, Sikh, Taoist, and Zoroastrian followers to â€œcome to the Jordan.â€ I scheme to get those in the tiniest of faith traditions (which donâ€™t qualify for Wikipedia articles on the worldâ€™s major religions) to join at the symbolic shore of the river of life. And, I pray, please God show me to how to coddle or throttle the non-believersâ€”those latter day Nones and Naysayers professing no beliefâ€”to also be present for some wet and wild dunking.
Make them all come to the river, to come to Jesus, to come to their senses about the one who was and is the beloved of God.