Daily Office Readings for Tuesday Proper 9 of Year 1
“Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up.” (Acts 9:40)
This is truly remarkable. Simon Peter, a former fisherman, now theologian, healer, and miracle worker. Through Jesus, Peter was able to raise Tabitha (or Dorcas) from the dead. Of special note is the fact that Peter didn’t seem to be impressed by what her friends wanted to show him as proof that she was a good person. From the minute he was summoned his mind was set to bring her back.
Before Peter performed this miracle he healed a man paralyzed for eight years. Then he answered the call to Joppa. He remained in Joppa for some time staying with yet another Simon who was a tanner.
It seems that Peter never forgot his own roots. He preferred the company of the working class as opposed to royalty or persons of high degree. This is happening even as he himself is becoming a person of high degree. He is sought after from all over when believers are in trouble.
When we examine Peter’s formative years we see a man who denied Christ three times and was ashamed of himself for it. Now he is dedicating the remaining years of his life to the service of Christ, not to pay-back good for his misdoings, but rather in total submission to his love for the same Jesus he once denied that he even knew. As I type these words, the words of the middle verse of “Come thou fount of every blessing” come to mind. Permit me please:
“Here I find my greatest treasure; hither by thy help, I’ve come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.” Words by Robert Robinson as found in our 1982 Hymnal number 686.
For me, these words not only sum up Peter’s experience but my own as well. I was an un-churched Marine who discovered Jesus during a personal crisis. I didn’t know I had a home beyond this earth to arrive at. So through a friend whose name was Jeff H. I was led to the Episcopal Church and from there I was rescued from the dangers of this world. This doesn’t mean I can’t get hurt, but I now know that I have the blessed assurance of eternal salvation.
Like Peter, I too was more of a blue-collar worker; I was a Mover (of household goods) like my Dad, and then a Marine and now a priest. And like Peter I find myself comfortable with most anybody but still identify with the blue collar working class. I too go to where I am called and pray for God in Christ to help me. I pray you who read this message do the same.
Let us praise God from whom all blessings flow. John+