[After arriving in Philippi several days before,] on the Sabbath we [Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke] went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there.
— Acts 16:13 NLT
In cities without a synagogue, Jewish worshipers met near a river to have a time of prayer. Paul and his mission team stuck to the same formula Barnabas and Paul used on their first missionary journey. They began with religious Jews, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah promised by Moses and the prophets. Women played a crucial role in the life of the churches in Macedonia, so we shouldn't be surprised that the church in Philippi began with a group of women whose story follows in the subsequent verses. The compelling stories that follow are reminders that the vision to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9) was world-changing, not just for this group of women, but for the history of salvation for Europe. As Jesus once said, the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (Luke 13:18-21).
O Father, please make my efforts at sharing your love, mercy, and grace effective. Grow your Kingdom through my efforts so they will be to your glory and so others will come to Christ. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.