I get a bit of a chuckle when I see an established business having a Grand Re-Opening ceremony or better yet, they go out with all glory and have another Grand Opening. Being a former marketing manager, I get a thrill seeing someone trying to rebrand something old into something new and improved with very little actual replacement of the old with the new. I wonder, how can a Grand Opening banner and some colorful balloons have the power of making something new? In order for something to be new, the old needs to be replaced. Our scripture from Revelation brings this to light by making it clear that in order for a new heaven and a new earth to take place, the first (old) earth must pass away. We see this displayed every year with the change of seasons from the absence of new life in winter to the budding rebirth and colorful brilliance of bloom in the spring. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ makes all things new for us, for that’s what Easter brings. We are in the fifth week of the Eastertide and we are reminded not to revert back to the past. Have the confidence to know that God is with us and has made our hearts anew.
-Peter Raises Tabitha, Acts 9:36-43
What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? A disciple is one who is totally loyal to the teachings of Jesus and exhaustively practices these principles in their own walk of faith. A disciple puts God first and serves those who are on the fringes of society in Jesus’ name. The kids will discover an incredible disciple this week named Tabitha. Peter found Tabitha to be a devoted disciple of Christ who was respected by many, especially the widows she helped by making them clothing. The widows had praised Tabitha for her service to those in need. The widows had called Peter because Tabitha had suddenly fallen ill and died. As the widows prepared Tabitha for burial they bathed her and laid her in state along side the many beautiful garments she had made. Peter was so moved by the charitable acts of Tabitha that he earnestly prayed for her to live and commanded Tabitha to get up. Miraculously she opened her eyes and was among the living again. Tabitha took Jesus’ command of serving others seriously. Luke chooses a fitting way to honor this disciple by having the very people she helped pay tribute to her. I consider Tabitha to by one of the great “silent disciples” of the Bible. I encourage you this week to discuss the story of Tabitha with your kids. Discuss the wonderful “silent disciples” you have come across in your life and how they made a difference. Ask your kids who they might consider to be a “silent disciple” and what qualities make that person so special?
Saul Meets Jesus – Acts 9:1-20
Where do we encounter God? In our scripture, Saul a persecutor of the early church encountered God on the road to Damascus. Saul was blinded by a light and God’s voice boomed over him with the powerful words: “Why do you persecute me?” While we do have encounters with God they may not be necessarily as dramatic as Saul’s experience. God does come into our own time and place if we invite God in to guide us. God can be found in many places and spaces from our quite times, through the actions of others and so many moments in our day. Encourage kids to discover God in the subtler movements in life. For it may be a small whisper or action that God reaches out to us. God is and forever be with us.