After Paul receives a vision to come to Macedonia, Luke's narrative suddenly includes himself. And once in Macedonia, Paul and Luke meet Lydia whose heart is open to the gospel and who responds by sharing her resources, providing a place to stay. Three persons in Luke's narrative, all part of a team. The operative pronoun used by Luke is the first person plural: "we."
All four years in high school, the conference basketball championship was won by our school. And all four years there was one message: You are a team. "Move the ball to the open player." "Feed the 'hot' hand!" Paul, the great apostle; Luke, the gifted author and beloved physician; and Lydia, who was skilled in caring for others. But it wasn't about three individuals alone. It was about being a team, about first person plural stuff. We are a team!
Are we, today, realizing what it really is with us? That we're a part (a unique important part) of the Body of Christ? Not Lone Rangers, not a solo flight, but a team. Today, do we have the grace not only to help others, but to be helped by others?
Dear Lord, you have taught us to pray "Our Father" rather than "My Father." We are thankful that today we will experience the joy of shared ministry with others. Amen.
Acts 16:9-15 (NRSV)
9 During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,
12 and 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.
13 On 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.
14 A 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.
15 When 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.