First Reading: Acts 9:36-43
36Now 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. 37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
So often we focus on Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus, during his following Jesus days. We focus on Simon Peter, the ROCK, who sinks when he tries to walk on water. We remember him with the great confession, “You are the Messiah!” when asked by Jesus who the disciples believed Jesus to be. But in his next sentence, Peter rebukes Jesus for talking about suffering and dying. In turn, Jesus rebukes Peter and says, “Get behind me, Satan!” And of course, we remember Peter as the one who denies knowing Jesus three times.
But in this story, we hear of Peter, the leader of the early Christian church doing things we only thought Jesus could do. Peter becomes a force to be reckoned with, preaching, teaching and healing like the one he followed for years. I find it amusing and amazing that this doesn’t get as much press as Peter’s earlier antics.
Some thoughts that come to mind as I read this:
It is one of the greatest miracles in the Bible that the church comes to life through the leadership of the bumbling disciples. God can use even those of us who don’t always get it right.
Peter doesn’t do this for his own benefit. In verse 42, we are told that many believed in the Lord BECAUSE of Peter and his ministry.
I can’t help but think of the story when Jesus raises a little girl from the dead – the words we read in scripture are “Talitha Kum” which means “little girl, get up.” Here the words Peter speaks sound almost the same in this passage “Tabitha, get up.”
Prayer is a powerful thing.
Let us pray: Dear God, we thank you for giving us a second chance every day. Like Peter, don’t give up on us. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.