Thought for the Day: When Paul preached in Athens on Mars Hill, his words were being scrutinized by philosophers and the great minds of Greece. This was the place to be, and though many mocked and ridiculed Paul, there were some who “joined” (the Greek word means glue or fasten) Paul and became believers. Two names were mentioned – Dionysius, who would have been a member of the governing court of Athens and “a woman named Damaris.” It is surprising to find a woman in that setting as it was, for the most part, a place where men gathered to discuss and debate. What does it tell us about Damaris, and more specifically, why does the author of Acts mention her by name? A number of scholars suggest that when a person was mentioned by name in scripture, it was a sort of dropping of a name. People would hear the Book of Acts read and they would say, “Oh yes, we’ve heard of…” Though we will probably never know, it does entice one’s curiosity when trying to imagine what Damaris did that would have given her status worthy of a name drop, especially in a patriarchal culture.
Prayer: Wisdom – Grace – Boldness – Strength of character — what gifts did Damaris have that caught the attention of Paul? Lord God, I am not looking for name recognition, but I hope my life gives reason for others to speak the name of Jesus and to seek his ways above all other ways. Amen.
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