Acts 16:11-15, The story of Lydia's conversion.
I have always had a soft spot for Lydia, ever since I first read this passage during a Sunday afternoon Crusader class. The only other Lydia I had ever heard of was a Great Aunt on my mother's side of the family..
My mum's family was vast and scattered across the Midlands. Places such as Bilston, Kingstanding, and Coalville, were woven into tapestry of family history, along with many relatives I had heard of but never met. When we visited my Grandparents, I would sit and listen to them reminisce, or bring my Mother up to date on the latest family news. Much of the detail has been forgotten, but I do recall that Great Uncle Fred from Derby drove trains and sniffed and Great Aunt Lydia was short, rather jolly, and know in the family as "Aunt Teapot Lid".
The Lydia in the Bible was not known for being short and rather jolly, instead she was a highly respected trader of purple cloth, living in Philippi. Despite being a female gentile from Asia, she was used by God to spend the gospel into Europe. Lydia is not one of the greats in the Bible, she appears once or twice in Acts, but like Esther before her, she was the right person in the right place at the right time, willing to be used by God as part of His plan.
As we look forward to the next academic year, the questions we should ask ourselves is - what time were we born for? What purpose does God have for us? May we, like Lydia, respond to God's call.