This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on May 8, 2016.
Persecution is the last theme to consider (in this cycle of Lectionary readings) that runs throughout the larger story. It is, for sure, a timely way to frame our work with this text. We live in a day where we frequently hear of Christians being persecuted across the globe. At the same time, we frequently hear references to Christians being persecuted in our nation because someone greeted them with “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” So, we’re hearing the same language of persecution used to describe legitimate martyrdom and to describe a school district’s action not to allow a Christian prayer before the Friday night football game. It’s time for this text to intersect with our culture.
Having been led by a vision to Macedonia, the missionary team wanders their way to Philippi. As they engage people with the gospel, they are beginning to engage the culture in more significant ways. Verses 11-15 recount Lydia’s conversation who has a thriving business in expensive purple cloth and immediately becomes a supporter of these evangelists, offering them her home as headquarters to the Philippian operation.