First Dorcas, now Lydia.
God has really been opening up His word to me lately about these incredible creative women in the bible. As you know, I am not one to talk much about the bible in my blog. I read it almost every day, but this blog is not biblically focused. It is a sewing blog after all. But for some reason, I continue to stumble across these women in the bible who are nothing short of amazing. Creative women who had a heart for God and paved their way in history with either their handmade dresses for those in need or entrepreneurial fabric dye spirit, earning them a place in history in the bible.
You can read more about Dorcas HERE, and how she was raised from the dead after being mourned by those she sewed for, using her talents to help those in need. But today we are focusing on Lydia.
Let’s just call her EPIC GIRL BOSS.
Who is Lydia?
We are introduced to Lydia in Acts 16:12-15, 40. This is Paul’s second missionary journey, and he is called in a dream to go to Macedonia (Greece). Paul immediately wakes up the next day and sets off on his journey. (Notice he does not tarry, but immediately sets to do God’s calling.) After a few days Paul and Timothy head to a riverbank, because they believe people will be there praying on the Sabbath. They come across a group of women, and meet Lydia.
Lydia is a gentile, but worshiped God. We don’t know if she is simply a jewish sympathizer, of jewish decent, or a convert to judaism – but we do know that she worshipped God and went down to the prayer meeting that morning Paul was there. It says Lydia was a MERCHANT OF EXPENSIVE PURPLE CLOTH. Essentially, a fabric store owner.
She listened to Paul and Timothy, opened her heart to their teaching, and accepted Jesus. This made Lydia the FIRST RECORDED CHRISTIAN IN EUROPE. She later brought that teaching to her household, and her and her entire household were immediately baptized.
Acts 16:12-15, 40
12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.
13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.
These few verses tell us:
- Lydia was the first recorded Christian in Europe
- Lydia was an entrepreneur and business owner
- She was the head of her household (freed slave or widow, we don’t know)
- She had power and authority over her business and household
- She was successful and made wise decisions
- Even though she was know-doubtedly busy, she made time to pray in the morning
- She was hospitable and opened her home to guests
- Lydia served the Lord
Lydia was an EPIC GIRL BOSS in a time when it was rare for girl’s to be much more than anything outside of wife or mother. She was diligent in her business, making wise profitable decisions. She revered the Lord, even before she knew Jesus and had her own salvation. And she recognized wise teaching when it was before her, not keeping it to herself but sharing it with her entire household – making sure not one person was left behind.
Whoever says women were put down in the bible, clearly didn’t know Lydia.
How have I missed her and Dorcas all of this time? These incredible strong and brave women, who stood up against all odds and said I AM HERE!!! I am awesome, I am woman, I am a creator, I am a lioness and hear me ROAR.
You can read more about Lydia here, from bible gateway below. It is assumed that the letter Paul writes in Philippians 1:1-10 is also directed to Lydia and other followers. She is also written about in Wikipedia here.
Dorcas, now Lydia.
I wonder if her hands were permanently dyed purple, like mine are every time I use RIT dye. Ha! Rock on with your crafty or seamstress bad self!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…happy sewing!