And Lydia said, “If you have judged me to be faithful, then come and stay with me and my family at my house.” And she persuaded us. Acts 16:15
With faith comes the call to new relationships. People who would likely never meet encounter each other in Christ and become brothers and sisters of Jesus. In the process they become brothers and sisters for each other. The connection is one the world would never make. But in Christ it is real and powerful and life (and world) changing.
In the above passage Lydia was a well to do woman who had a little prayer group at the edge of town. The Apostle Paul has come to town and shared the message of Jesus. They meet and Lydia becomes a believer – Jesus is the risen Lord! She is baptized along with her family and joins this group of people who are known at that time as “followers of the way.” These people follow the way of Jesus.
Her invitation reminds us that whether someone is a long time member of the church or a newly believing person who just arrived, in Christ we are all equals. We have gifts and talents and all are invited to use them. She takes charge and says to Paul that she will offer something to him – food and shelter while he does his missionary work. His accepting it is a sign that he acknowledges her faithfulness, her gifts and her connection to Jesus.
How are you at both using your gifts in the work of the church and accepting the gifts of others there? Are you offering your best to further the work of Christ? Are you accepting and encouraging of others when they offer theirs? As “followers of the way” we are all called offer ourselves to the work of the gospel. We are also to celebrate when others offer theirs as well.