Acts 16:11-15 Reflection:
Today we have a short first reading but again we learn something interesting from the text; in those places where the Jews had no synagogues they gathered at some notable place on the Sabbath to pray. In this case the notable place was a river bank.
Another interesting point is that the apostles ‘preached to the women.’
This would have been unheard off in the Jewish world. Women had to stand outside the central prayer area of the synagogue and temple and were not considered worth preaching too. But the message of Christ is for everyone, male and female, Jew and gentile.
The women were responsive to this new message that treated them as equals. They were as worthy of redemption as any man and they had the right to be baptised in the same way as the men. This was a new way of looking at God and women.
Lydia is the woman mentioned in the reading as accepting the new teaching. In typical womanly fashion she said there and then that she was a believer and insisted that the apostles come and stay with her.
The story of the spread of the church is ever widening. Now the apostles were preaching in Macedonia and even more, they were now going to places where they were preaching to women alone.
The Jewish ways were definitely being left behind.