When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Lydia was a business woman, and apparently a wealthy and very successful one. She must have had good judgement and a logical mind to rise to her position in the economic system and community at that time. She would not have been given to rash decisions or ill-advised actions. Yet she was willing to take in the strangers who came to share the Gospel without any reservations. Why would she take such a chance?
We are told that she was already a God-fearing woman when Paul and his friends arrived, but their testimony and behavior added to her faith. Jesus taught that part of our responsibility as His followers was to welcome the stranger and care for them. Hospitality was part of the ancient faith as far back as Abraham. Jesus visited and ate with those considered sinners and outsiders, and He calls us to do the same.
Taking a risk is difficult, but we can be certain that Jesus blesses our efforts to support those in need. There is no risk in trusting Him. He didn’t say our way would be easy, but He did promise salvation to all who believed in Him and were willing to live as He taught us.
Loving Lord, You have called us to welcome and care for those in need among us. Help us to see the people and issues that can be helped by our faithful service and Your love. Amen.