- Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 16:11-15 “Come and stay at my house!”
Last week, we read the Bible and found out that Paul went to Macedonia instead of Asia. That was a critical decision in terms of the Christian History. Because Paul went to Macedonia, Europe became the Christian Continent through the power and system of the Roman Empire. Then the Christianity was able to spread all over the world via Western Hegemony over the Oriental world.
The beginning of Paul’s work was humble. He started personal evangelism. From Troas Paul and his company put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, to Neapolis and to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And they stayed there several days.
Because they were still Jewish people, they had worship on Sabbath (Saturday in our calendar). They went outside the city gate to the river, where they expected to find a place of prayer. Many people were already there for their prayer time. They sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth.
Purple cloth was used by rich people, including royal families. Lydia was a successful business woman and rich. Not only that, she was also a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. They accepted Jesus as their savior and decided to be baptized. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited Paul’s party to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” That was the first “House Church” in Macedonia (Philippians). In Paul’s writings, we can find many references to this Philippian church, who helped Paul’s ministry spiritually and financially.
Paul wrote in the Philippians, saying, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6). Later, in Philippi seven churches were founded until the city was destroyed by earthquake in 6th century. After that, Philippi could not recover its vitality as the center of the Christian world. However, it was one important seed for the later growth of the Christian world.
This story shows us the importance of one believer or one family. When one family opens their house as a house church or a small group meeting place, wonderful things can happen there. In our church, for example, Pat Brumley opens her house for young people’s Bible study. Some people meet at their houses for small groups and Bible Studies. They are small in number and humble in power. We do not know, however, what wonderful influence it can make in history. Only God know how many apple trees are in a apple seed. Let us plant one seed at a time trusting God’s providence. We will have joy of harvest in God’s grace.
- Who is the one family that you want to bring to Jesus.
- Who is the one person who accept Gospel of Jesus through you?