Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Old Rugged Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 9:36 – In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. (NIV 2011)
I've always liked the story of Tabitha, or Dorcas, as she is sometimes known. I can remember as a child seeing a beautiful stained glass window in a Scottish church, which was dedicated to the ministries of church women everywhere. Tabitha was seated at her table, making clothes for the poor people around her. She was enjoying her work and appeared to be blessed by God for her acts of kindness. It seemed that a feeling of peace emanated from the stained glass depiction. Years later, when I read the rest of the story about how she was raised from the dead in Acts 9:36-43, I fully appreciated what the glass artist had perfectly portrayed.
The ministry of women in our churches, especially their acts of compassion and charity, have expressed the gospel of Jesus in effective and lasting ways. Countless numbers of lives have been changed by the godly work of our women all over the world. Their devotion to their congregations and their dedication to the causes that they champion have changed the world entirely. Preachers may preach wonderfully-crafted sermons, but it is usually the women in our churches who create, support, and maintain ministries and missions that advance the loving kingdom of God in our communities.
So today, let's be thankful for the benevolent spirit of Tabitha that can still be experienced in our churches, as well as our communities.
Questions for personal reflection: How important are the ministries of women in my church? What can I do to support and pray for them?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for disciples like Tabitha, who can be found in all of our congregations. We praise You for the continuing and effective ministries that women initiate and sustain among us, especially from those who are preachers, pastors, and program leaders. Bless their gifts and grant them the respect, parity, and honour that they so richly and rightly deserve. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.