Ladies' aid

It is one of the signs of the times we live in that ladies’ aid church societies and the skill of home sewing is slowly disappearing. Women work outside the home now and don’t have time to acquire homey skills like canning, darning, embroidery, and the making of clothes by hand. Fewer and fewer are able to teach the few who want to learn. Besides, machine-made clothing is so relatively cheap that sewing is at best a hobby, not an economic necessity.

Not so in New Testament times. All clothing was handmade. And every town had poor people who were clothed literally in rags. Though we know little about her, Dorcas seems to have been an older widow in Joppa on the coast who showed her Christian faith in making clothes and helping the poor.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died. . . . All the widows stood around him [Peter], crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them” (Acts 9:36,37,39).

Dorcas’ resurrection is a magnificent story. It is a demo version of what God is going to do for all believers when he returns. But I love Dorcas even more for her servant heart, a seamstress who put clothes on the poor.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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