Thought for the Day: Joppa was a city along the Mediterranean coast, approximately 50 miles away from Jerusalem. It’s interesting that Joppa is mentioned in the story of Jonah, the port city where he jumped aboard a boat in an attempt to escape God’s calling. It is in this city, centuries after Jonah, that we find a disciple whose life overflowed with good works and compassion. How many of us do good works, but do so reluctantly? Have you ever done a good work, but complained about it or secretly desired some recognition?
For something to overflow (the Greek word is related to our English word, plethora = an overabundance) suggests the vessel from which the overflow is occurring is more than full. Observers may only witness what spills over the rim, but the assumption is that the overflow represents an excess that simply could not be contained. What does it say about Tabitha that she overflowed with good works and compassion? The assumption one might make is that she had been on the receiving end of good works and compassion in splendid abundance. When we think about God’s love, we use words like unconditional and everlasting. When scripture references God’s kindness, there is imagery that suggests its copious nature. As our mission at the church suggests, it all begins with God whose love and kindness are shared beyond anything we can imagine, and when such gifts are allowed to be poured into someone, the result is always an overflow of good works and compassion.
Prayer: Great God of Heaven, we are thankful for Tabitha and all those like her who were an open vessel into which your life-giving love was poured. May her example provide us a model that challenges us to be more receptive and open to all the gifts you seek to pour into our lives. Amen.
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