Acts 9:36-43

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Yvonne Moody.

“Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs.

Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

 Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.” Acts 9:36-43

I did not have a positive reaction to this text the first time I read it. First, we don’t know much about Tabitha, except that apparently, she was a good person and well liked, but she got sick and died. When Peter arrives, he is surrounded by widows, who are weeping and grieving over the loss of Tabitha. They admired her so much that they showed off her fine seamstress accomplishments. Then Peter asks everyone to leave, and after praying, Tabitha is raised from the dead. Just like that.

Maybe I’m too sensitive. Maybe I’m skeptical. I’ve been widowed for three years now, and in the span of just one month this past summer, I lost both my grandmother and my father. I haven’t had one glimpse of hope that my loved ones will be raised from the dead. So, what am I to think about this text?

Well, if I’ve learned anything about grief, it’s that you don’t do it alone (or at least you shouldn’t). I’ve had lots of people show up in my life, just like the widows in this text, to grieve with me and help me keep going. And now I am much more aware of being sensitive to grief in other people’s lives.

As Christians, we are called to walk together. To care for the sick and lonely. And I feel that in my life every day. When I come to church, I know there will always be someone willing to sit with me if I don’t want to sit alone. And if I’m having a bad day, and shed some tears during the service, inevitably there’s someone near to give a hug and a word of encouragement.

So, do I believe in miracles? Absolutely! But I’ve come to realize that most miracles today aren’t the grand gestures we might hope for, but they happen every day in small acts of kindness and love. And I hold on to the hope that one day, we will all get to experience heaven, and then I will be reunited with the loved ones that I miss so much.

Let us pray: Lord, we don’t always react the way you would want us to. Help us to see beyond our own pain and wants in life, to the life that you would have us live. Help us to be present with those in need. And, when we are the ones hurting, teach us to reach out for help and be willing to be loved by those who do so in your name. Let us love one another, as you have loved us. In Jesus, name. Amen.

 

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One Response to “Acts 9:36-43”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    Dear Yvonne, thank you for sharing your feelings about three important people you lost within just three years of each other. That is not easy to bear, but you have called upon the Lord and He has given you family and friends to comfort you in your grief. He hasn’t raised your loved ones up literally from the dead, but He has raised them up to be with Him in heaven, in a more perfect place and He has given them the gift of everlasting life. By God’s grace we too will join our loved ones in the Kingdom of Glory.
    May you continue in your faith to heal Yvonne, and be blessed as you are a blessing to others.

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