God on Monday
‘Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas.
She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.' Acts 9.36-42 (v. 36)
The authors of scripture grasped the importance of role models. In fact, the Bible is replete with stories of people who, despite their faults, are worthy of emulation. Many of them are women and some of these women are entrepreneurs. One of the less well-known is Tabitha or Dorcas. She is introduced with the short but striking description above.
Tabitha in Hebrew and Dorcas in Greek mean ‘gazelle’ - the small antelope that is very common in Asia and Africa. In ancient culture, the gazelle was an emblem of beauty because of its graceful movements and lustrous eyes. It was an image of female loveliness.
We don’t know whether Dorcas had graceful movements or lustrous eyes. But we do know she lived a beautiful life and that both her movements and her eyes would have reflected God’s grace and compassion. We know this not only from Acts’ one-line description of her but because of the obvious affection in which she was held by those around her.
We also know that she used her workplace skills as a seamstress in the service of Christ. When she falls ill and dies and the Apostle Peter is called in to help, we read that ‘all the widows stood around him crying and showing him the robes and other clothing Dorcas had made’ (Acts 9. 39).
For Dorcas, the needle in her hand was evidently her primary means to bring deliverance and blessing to the poor. She expressed her faith, and cared for widows, in stitches.
How are you like Dorcas in being ‘devoted to good works’ in the use of your skills?
Thank you God for the beauty of Dorcas’ life and work. May I be more like her.
The Christian charity Dorcas
has found inspiration in Dorcas' story to help the needy in Eastern Europe. It has been doing so for decades but is now at the forefront of aid to Ukrainians. Consider how you might use your skills to help some of the millions of new refugees from that besieged nation.
Peter S Heslam,
Director of Faith in Business
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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