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She served by sewing

June 24, 2023

Daily Scripture

Acts 9:36-42

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas). Her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need. 37 About that time, though, she became so ill that she died. After they washed her body, they laid her in an upstairs room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two people to Peter. They urged, “Please come right away!” 39 Peter went with them. Upon his arrival, he was taken to the upstairs room. All the widows stood beside him, crying as they showed the tunics and other clothing Dorcas made when she was alive.
40 Peter sent everyone out of the room, then knelt and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and raised her up. Then he called God’s holy people, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news spread throughout Joppa, and many put their faith in the Lord.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

There’s no record of a church building in the city of Joppa, but the church was there. Exhibit A was a marvelous seamstress named Tabitha (Dorcas—meaning “gazelle”—in Greek). No scrap of evidence said she ever preached a sermon, but God equipped her to sew, and gave her a heart for the poor. The “show and tell” time in verse 39 is a deeply touching scene. Tabitha lived her faith in such beautiful ways that God used Peter as a channel to allow her to keep living it longer.

  • Tabitha loved people, lived out her love through her gift of sewing, and changed a whole city. What are you able to do that God can use to bless others? To what extent do you think behavior like Tabitha’s is a matter of natural inclination, and to what extent do you believe it reflects intentional moral choices? God used both Peter, the apostle, preacher and healer and Tabitha, the seamstress with a compassionate heart, to lead many to believe in Jesus. What role(s) has God equipped you to play in serving others? How committed are you to doing your part in helping others to “put their faith in the Lord”?

Lord Jesus, help me never to think, “All I can do is ____________, and that doesn’t matter.” Make my life, and whatever abilities I have, count as much for you as Tabitha’s lovely life of service. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ashton Barlow

Ashton Barlow

Ashton Barlow is a summer intern at Resurrection working with Connections and Care. He graduated from Blue Valley High School in 2022 and is currently attending Nebraska Wesleyan University, double majoring in Theatre Arts and Religion & Philosophy. He has been a part of Resurrection his whole life and plans on becoming an Ordained Pastor in the United Methodist Church. He enjoys directing Theatre, playing Board Games, and when he has time he loves studying religion.

As I was reading these verses, I began to think about a song that I have been listening to a lot recently. It is “What have we become?” by Liquid (click here to listen to the song). I thought of this song because Tabitha made me think of the type of person I strive to become. In this world of “self-absorbed people” this song asks, “What have we become? In a world degenerating, what have we become?”

Tabitha was said to be full of good works. She made garments and clothing for others constantly and spent her life in this powerful service. I look at that and I am in awe. This is something that we all struggle with. It is just hard to devote your life to service (if not practically impossible–I mean, someone has to pay the bills!). But Tabitha created a connection to the world around her, and not just through her charity. She had a genuine connection to these other people. She was a living example that actions can speak louder than words.

Next we look at Peter, who “rose and went with them” right as he heard that Tabitha had passed. He had a first-hand account from an outsider perspective of other people’s love and sorrow for this lady. For me this points towards the importance of community. I am very community oriented–ask anyone and they’ll tell you the 50 things I’m committed to and doing at any time. But a church community grounds me and reorients me, we can together experience our journeys throughout life with people of a similar mindset.

Like Tabitha, through service we can do good works. Our acts of charity can bring people together and through this we invite the Holy Spirit into others through our works. Through our good works we hope that we can make a lasting impact on people like Tabitha did, and through these works we let our good works revive us spiritually to bring us to a stronger and more faithful space.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.