What Color are Your Roots?

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Mine are PURPLE!

Maybe no one’s ever ask you this question. No one ever asks me. I’m not talking about hair roots 😉 It sounds ridiculous… What does it even mean?

Another AHA moment… in my Greece Adventures!

We were traveling to ancient Phillipi, in northern Greece, a very seismic area. Eventually, citizens abandoned the city after centuries of earthquakes and invasions.

Phillipi sits in a strategic location. It is on the ancient Egnatia Road which was the military road/highway between Rome and the capital of the Eastern Empire, Constantinople (Istanbul today). It was also the land trade route of commerce that linked countries, empires… the world. The Apostle Paul used this road in his travels between cities and ministries.

This day, we stopped short of the city: pulling into a treed area. Why were we stopping?

Unknowingly, like God does so many times, what looked like nothing, became something.

What seemed insignificant became forever significant.

The unimpressive left lasting impressions…

I found my Spiritual Roots!

I know, I know… we all came from Adam, Jesus is the foundation of my faith, God created me… those are the ground beneath my roots. I am planted in those! But, the roots to my spiritual tree dawned on me this day… 

THEY ARE PURPLE!

We stopped at a stream, babbling brook.

This is where Lydia became alive to me; a Real Person.

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Lydia was the seller of purple. She harvested rare sea snails and ground them to make purple dye. Because of their rarity, purple cloth was expensive. Thus, it became the color for royalty: no one else could afford it. 

Lydia was the businesswomen who sold purple cloth. She wasn’t a native, coming from modern day Turkey. But, in Paul’s time, she lived and did business in Phillipi, a few miles from the sea.

The Jews, in Phillipi, met outside the city walls: there was no temple in the city. To have a synagogue in a city, there had to be ten or more practicing Jewish men. Which tells us very few Jews lived in Phillipi. When Paul arrived, he sought the Jewish people and among them, he found Lydia. She was NOT Jewish, but she was hanging out with the Jews. Evidently, intrigued by their God… attracted to him, drawn to Him.

Paul preached Jesus, the Messiah.

Lydia was converted to Christianity.

She was the First Christian Gentile…. In Europe!

She invited Paul to her house and scripture records Paul baptized her whole household into Christianity. (Acts 16:14-15) Paul planted the first Christian Church in Europe, in Phillipi.

This stream where we stopped, is the spot where history records the Jews, in Phillipi, worshipped. They believe this was the place Paul baptized Lydia, along with others. It makes sense for the Jews to worship near water, because ceremonial washing was tradition. Today, there is a small beautiful Greek Orthodox Chapel built in Lydia’s honor and memory.

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At a glance, the stream looked too small to baptize someone in, but as we got closer, we could see large areas with deep pools. The sound of the brook was mesmerizing, tranquil. I took a video for you, watch it Here.

When we moved to our river cottage, I thought the view of the water would minister most to me, but I’ve discovered the sound of the river ministers more. This day, in Greece, the sound of that small river felt like home. It wasn’t just the familiar sound; it was also a kinship realized. 

Lydia is, in every sense, a spiritual mother. My descendants found faith in God, in Europe. She is the first in that lineage. I was captivated. I wanted to linger and sit awhile at her home place. I felt connection.

I never knew Lydia belonged in my personal lineage. I didn’t realize I had such strong Greek roots… nor did I know what color they were.

My Spiritual Roots are Purple… Yours might be too!

OPA!!!

 

AHA … Lydia’s Daughter,

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