Lydia, a seller of purple

For many centuries, people who worked agricultural and laborer jobs could not read. There were many religious works of art created in frescoes, tiles, stained glass, paintings, statues, architecture and song to help the illiterate understand the gospel message. The symbolism of certain images was understood.  Even today, the problem of illiteracy persists. There is a saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Old Parish & St Paul's Church, Galashiels - 52574064050

itmpa, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Acts 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;

12 And fom thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.


Harold Copping - Lydia of Thyatira - (MeisterDrucke-388978)

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

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