By Kent French
February 2, 2023 - 10:20am
During Epiphany, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking God Together, as we learn in worship alongside the youngest members of our community. This week, we're learning about the centrality in our faith of Serving Others.
On Sunday we will hear a story from the Book of Acts, the history of earliest followers of Christ, the movement known as The Way. It's about a woman raised from the dead (Acts 9:36-43) named Tabitha or Dorcas. Apparently, she knew how to serve others. It says:
Her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need.
The people around her valued her so much that when she became ill and died suddenly, they sent for Peter, the ostensible leader of the new movement, and he raised her from the dead! Much like how Jesus had done with his friend Lazarus (John 11:1-46) and a 12-year-old girl (Mark 5:21-42).
Recently our congregation has said farewell to several beloved members, saints of our community, who've died to this Earthly life and gone heavenward. I wonder what would cause us to want to raise them from the dead? Perhaps because we weren't ready to let go of them yet? Or because we still had more to learn from them? Or they were so valuable to our community that we needed them to train us in what they were able to do? Or we needed to let them know how much they meant to us, to say the things we forgot or were too reticent to say while they were living in flesh and blood among us?
On Sunday, we'll reflect on Dorcas' example and what it means to serve and why it's important. If the Holy Spirit allows, I may offer a midrash* on her life. We'll see...
We will also serve one another as we share communion. We'll sing and we'll pray. I look forward to seeing you there.
* One scholar defines midrash as "a Jewish mode of interpretation that not only engages the words of the text, behind the text, and beyond the text, but also focuses on each letter, and the words left unsaid by each line." (Lovelace, Vanessa (2018-09-11). "Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne, written by Wilda C. Gafney". Horizons in Biblical Theology. 40 (2): 212–215.
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