We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 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. 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. 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. 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.
The reigning ideology is that faith in Christ is "partriarchal and mysoginistic." Yet the Bible's first named convert on European soil is a woman of power and means: this is "Lydia's household" and she deals in purple cloth, one of the lucrative commodities of the time.
Nor does her baptism in Christ diminish any of that. The strength of her personality "prevails upon" the strong willed Apostle Paul and his missionary team. Her whole household follows her into the water of new life. Her ample means are shared in generous hospitality.
She had an open heart, was searching for and responsive to God, and able to hear and engage new ideas.
Happy Mother's Day. And may God bless his children with many more moms like Lydia.