I’d like to take you on a journey this morning. As we travel we will stop off at various places, meet different people and hear what is being said. As we travel, I’d like to encourage you to think about similar journeys that you have taken, or maybe that you are on at the moment.
As in Doctor Who, the first stage of the journey is the one that will take us the furthest through time and space, but it’s the one that I am going to spend the least time talking about. Will you come with me back about 2,000 years and 1,500 miles south east of here, to city called Philippi? We land in this Roman colony in Greece, in the street. It’s dusty and hot, there are people everywhere, going about their daily business.
We spot a little group of people, obviously walking somewhere together. Paul and Silas are part of the group, going to the place of prayer. The place of prayer wasn’t a Temple or a synagogue; it wasn’t a special building, but a spot on the riverbank, outside the city, where people gathered to talk together and to pray. They had gone there when they first arrived in Philippi, and had met Lydia, who had believed the message that they had bought, and decided to follow Jesus. Now they were staying at her house and had got into the practice of going back to that spot, to pray and to share the good news further.
But, there is opposition to them going to the place of prayer. Every time they head off to the place of prayer, they are harassed by this girl, shouting after them, trying to distract them.