“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.” vs. 36
Women have always played an integral part in the mission of Christ. Luke even names the ones who traveled with the little troop of disciples that surrounded Jesus during his Galilean ministry–some of them provided much needed financial support. They were present at the crucifixion and were the first to report his resurrection. It’s natural then that when the gospel began to be spread that women would emerge as foundational leaders. They didn’t get the press that the men received, but they were always there. Tabitha, or Dorcas, was one of them, and if there had been a church basement, she would have been there to organize others for the sewing of clothes and making quilts. She would have been amazed at the thousands of circles or small groups of church women bearing her name who have continued to do her amazing works in nearly all of our congregations. Even when shut out of some leadership roles by a paternalistic system, women regularly demonstrated sacrificial love as they single-handedly continued the mission of Christ. While fully capable of engaging in the theological debates from which they were excluded, they used their energy to reach out to the least and the lost, exactly as Jesus had instructed. Many now feel that they have always been and still are the life-giving heart of the Church.
Thought for the Day: Where would Dorcas find a place in my congregation?