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Acts 9:36-43, Peter in Lydda and Joppa

Wednesday, April 18

Power to Resurrect

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.


Peter was busy traveling the countryside, sharing the good news of the risen Christ. But he didn't just preach and teach. Jesus had equipped his apostles to carry on all parts of his ministry, and that included miracles -- casting out demons and healing the sick. On this occasion, Peter was called to mourn with the community of faith over a woman whose good works were valuable and necessary in the community. But Peter knew it wasn't enough to mourn for her -- she was a woman deserving of being brought back to life. And so, Peter did. He brought her back to life. The woman's name was "Tabitha," and when Peter called her, she rose. Sounds a little like Jesus' words to Jairus' daughter, "[Jesus] took her by the hand and said to her, 'Talitha cum,' which means, 'Little girl, get up!'" Coincidence? I think not. Peter had been given the gift, the responsibility, and the power to do what Jesus did.

Why do we think that we no longer have access to that kind of power? Do we fail to believe because there are no miracle? Or are there seemingly no miracles today because we don't believe? Or maybe you have witnessed a miracle and you do believe. Jesus did not set a time limit on the gift, responsibility, and power to do his work in the world. The ministry didn't shrivel when the apostles died. We have been promised the same power to preach, teach, cast out demons, and heal. What will we do with that power?

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 9:36-43

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. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since 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.” So 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. Peter 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. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Later Event: April 19
Acts 10:1-16, Peter and Cornelius