Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Ministry of Tabitha

Marykutty Chacko
St. Thomas MTC, NY

36 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. 37 At that time she became ill and died
Tabitha is one of the few females featured in the New Testament as a disciple. A disciple is a person who follows the moral teachings of another. Tabitha’s life and her death glorified God and we can reflect on many lessons from this passage.

In the New Testament account, she is described very briefly. She was “always doing good and helping the poor.” She led a ministry of compassion and sought to help the marginalized population in her society. Tabitha surrendered her life to help the poor and was useful to her community. She bloomed where she was planted. She was a source of hope for the hopeless. Think of our life today! If someone had to describe our legacy in one or two sentences, what would they say?

Tabitha’s life gave glory to God and she was a blessing to her community. Though Tabitha was a good woman, she suffered and eventually passed away due to some illness. When she died, the Christian community experienced grief and recognized a huge loss in their community. They felt compelled to call Peter and see if anything could be done to save her. Do our works bless our community? Are we filling a void or creating one?

Peter comes to see Tabitha, prays and then miraculously raises her from the dead. We are reminded of Lazurus and how Jesus raised him-- so that people may know that God has power over death. This miracle encourages the early church and is a pivotal moment in Peter’s ministry. Even in her death, Tabitha is an instrument in God’s hands that encourages and uplifts others in faith.

Peter not only raised her physical body to life but also restored her place in her community to continue being a witness to God for as long as she lived. Today, many charities have taken on the name “Tabitha” and taken on her cause of sewing garments and helping the poor. It is a legacy that continues to uplift communities. Take it as a challenge: What will our legacy be?  


Lord, help us to become instruments of your peace. Help us to work for your glory and fill our communities with goodness.


“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” -Tagore

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