Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Gazelle among the Sheep

It's funny that this text about Dorcas/Tabitha is also part of the Shepherd Sunday lectionary. She's a gazelle! You'd have to be a pretty fast shepherd to herd a flock of gazelles.
This is the one I'm going to preach on. I'm going to do "Revival" as one of the Marks of the Easter Church. But this woman/disciple who does acts of kindness/sews custom made clothing for her fellow widows . . . This is a woman I really like.
I also really like the realism of the scene - the women standing around, talking about the deceased and appreciating her (probably more now that she's dead than when she was alive.)
It's like funerals in my family. The only thing missing is a shoebox lined in waxed paper and filled with pimiento cheese sandwiches.

Acts 9:36-43 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
36-37Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, "Gazelle" in our language. She was well-known for doing good and helping out. During the time Peter was in the area she became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and put her in a cool room.
38-40Some of the disciples had heard that Peter was visiting in nearby Lydda and sent two men to ask if he would be so kind as to come over. Peter got right up and went with them. They took him into the room where Tabitha's body was laid out. Her old friends, most of them widows, were in the room mourning. They showed Peter pieces of clothing the Gazelle had made while she was with them. Peter put the widows all out of the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he spoke directly to the body: "Tabitha, get up."
40-41She opened her eyes. When she saw Peter, she sat up. He took her hand and helped her up. Then he called in the believers and widows, and presented her to them alive.
42-43When this became known all over Joppa, many put their trust in the Master. Peter stayed on a long time in Joppa as a guest of Simon the Tanner

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