Friday, February 8, 2013

women in Acts

Good morning brothers and sisters,
Today's reading takes us to the Book of Acts, to a passage telling a story of one of Paul's missionary journeys. This is one of a few "we" sections in Acts where the third person narration of most of the book becomes first person. The best explanation is that these sections may have been the parts of the story Luke was actually present for, while the rest is an account he has woven together from research and listening to other people's stories.

This passage highlights the important and varied role of women in spreading the gospel. In the first paragraph the apostles preach to a group of women, one of whom becomes their host for their stay. The second paragraph is an odd one. Paul's healing seems to be a strange one. It reminds me a bit of how evil spirits always recognized Jesus too, but Jesus didn't want them to speak.

Blessings on your day,

Acts 16:11-18
11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

16One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

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