Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
Tabitha or Dorcas? Okay we know it is the same person, but do you know her as Tabitha, the Jew, or Dorcas the Gentile? Not a shallow question because the fact that she was known by both names suggests she moved in both worlds. Equally.
A woman of faith, moved between cultures and was known in each culture as a woman of faith. Indeed for the first time we hear a woman being called a disciple using the same word used for the men, but the female form of it. It took a while, but here we are, a woman is at last on equal standing with the male disciples.
A disciple: a culture-crosser, both socially (Jewish and Greco-Roman) as well as theologically (a female disciple). Does that not tell us something about how the gospel readily moves into new spaces? Does that not tell us about a wild gospel not yet trained in the ways of the church that still dares to break rules and cultural standards? Sure, we keep trying to pull it back to something we recognise and are familiar with, but you can’t avoid these stories in the book of Acts that places the gospel far from everything that was once taken as being familiar.
But then it is not so much about becoming familiar with the gospel but familiarizing ourselves with what the gospel does and that’s a different thing.