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Eastertide 4, 2019: This Holy Story: Heals

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  • The “getting to know you” conversations and about what you fear.
    • Water, flying, etc
    • Mine was insiginficance
    • Always wanted to do something big
  • The older I am, the more I realize that it’s not the big things that I thought that lead to significance, but it’s all the little ways that we are significant to each other. But it’s often not what’s written of.
  • This is what can happen with our text, too.
    • We read Peter - the rock of the church
    • We read resurrection.
    • But what may be a better focus is the person who apparently had done enough that she was resurrected: Tabitha
  • Tabitha is described as a disciple
    • It’s the only time that the word used in the Gk in the feminine in the entire Bible. She’s singled out.
    • As the story is told, we learn more about her:
      • She’s devoted to good works and charity: better way to think about it is “full of” - her cup was full of good works and charity (a distribution of flowing kindness to the poor through goods).
      • The widows mourn her: Perhaps she was a caretaker of widows, or her full cup of good works and charity flowed over the widows. But what we know is that they were likely poor.
      • They showed the tunics in their grief. Their clothing. This was difficult work. It was much harder to create clothing back then. The best analogues I have are these quilts and shawls.
      • She meant so much to them that they wanted her to be resurrected. These activities that don’t carry banners or headlines were important enough that the community could not surrender her to a permanent death and instead she is called back to life - God calls Tabitha back to live through Peter. That’s a statement.
      • In the end, the Holy Story of healing is with Tabitha and those widows. They were given gifts of deep work and worth by someone who just overflowed with the desire to serve. Tabitha is a disciple - following Jesus, living out the Holy Story.
  • Our reflection of this healing on Mother’s Day
    • For some of us, this day is a good day.
    • For others, it may be a struggle
      • Another year where we remember the pain of our past, mother’s who might not have been able to love
      • Some of us look at this day with grief or frustration because we could not or do not want to have children.
      • Or, some of the men who took on the role of mother to others can feel a little out of place as well.
    • But at it’s core, this day is remembering people like Tabitha whose overflow of good works and charity may have fallen upon us, may have healed us.
    • And this need not just be language somehow limited to the feminine - overtly Jesus referenced himself like a mother hen not that long ago, and it is not that far of a stretch to hear the language of the shepherd in the same way - Tabitha was a shepherd, Jesus a mother hen.
  • So who has been the Tabitha in your life? Maybe it’s your mom. Maybe it’s a person you imagine as a mom. But there’s where This Holy Story can meet you in a practical way today. TBTG.
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