The story of Dorcas reminds me of an interesting quote from Cherokee proverbs which goes like this “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” This calls us to the reasons for our existence, we are created to be missionaries by our ways of life.
We are called to impact the world around us by reflecting Christ to the world so that they may see our works in him and this will draw them closer to his saving grace. Have you ever thought about what people will say at your funeral? Will they remember you for the life you lived in Christ? Will they remember you like Dorcas?
The Book of Acts describes how Christianity as a movement spread out from Jerusalem to the rest of the world by following the stories of Peter and Paul. Including Peter healing a man in the town of Lydda named Aeneas who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Like in Luke 5:17-26 where four friends bring a paralyzed man to the Lord, a man is healed and people come to faith. That leads us to today’s scripture.
Acts 9:36-43 gives us the story that n Joppa, there is a woman whose Aramaic name was Tabitha, which means Gazelle. Maybe she was really graceful. Regardless, she was a highly regarded Christian in her community. There is so much to learn from Tabitha’s restoration because she has a great reputation for all her good works and charity. Tabitha’s absence would leave a big hole. The widows of her congregation cry out to Peter when he arrives showing him the clothes she had made for them. It’s hard for faith communities to lose key leaders, in Tabitha’s case, one who helped the church fulfill its responsibility to care for its needy widows. Do we have needy widows in our church today? How sensitive are we to the needs of the needy members of our congregation?
Today we will learn some lessons from this disciple called Dorcas and I hope it will be a means for us to rethink about our calling to begin the work in our very home; the church and our neighborhood.
Lesson 1: good works are the test of Christian life. If one is not fruitful in good works, he is not joined to Christ. John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Lesson 2: The good are not spared by death because of their good works. His sickle cuts down the fairest flowers as well as the loathsome weeds.
Lesson 3: The deeds of the good remain to testify for them after death has taken them away. In conclusion let us remember the words in Deuteronomy 15: 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Israel here is our immediate congregation and our neighbors. Let us be prayerful in seeking the Lord who remembers every sacrifice we have ever offered in his name.