Friday, November 4, 2011

"Sewing" Seeds of Evangelism (Acts 9:36-42)

          Dorcas (also known as Tabitha in Aramaic) was a woman of influence in her home town of Joppa. Scripture says “she was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9:36). In the very next verse Scripture says: “she became sick and died.” (Peter happened to be in a nearby town called Lydda, and the disciples sent two men to him a begged him to: “Please come at once!” (9:38) Peter went with them and when he got there “all the widow stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.” (9:39)

Peter sent everyone out of the room, got down on his knees and prayed. “Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” (9:40-42)

We know from v. 36 that Dorcas was a disciple of Jesus. Much of her “helping the poor” and “always doing good” included sewing robes and clothing for others. Another translation says she sewed shirts and coats. I am impressed by that! (I think I am doing good if I can thread a bobbin for a sewing machine.)  She had obviously been such a vital influence on the community in Joppa sent two men to urge Peter to “come at once.” It seems as if they all understood the impact she had on so many. “Sewing” was one of the ways she “sowed” seeds of kindness and compassion. This is evident from her work with the widows around her. Dorcas used her talents and gifts to serve other people.

Because of her acts of kindness and her actually doing good works (not just coming up with good ideas) Dorcas influenced all those around her. With her death and then Peter raising her from the dead, everyone heard all over Joppa and “many people believed in the Lord.”

Maybe we all need to examine our abilities and ask God how He can help us use them to “sew” or “sow” seeds of the gospel! And let's not do it in a "so-so" way, but with all of our hearts.  We are all Gifted2Go so let's sow!