We’re really gearing up for the Fair this week. A reminder to “pace yourself” as the week goes on. Last year, we talked about Dorcas at this time. Who she was, her scripture passage (as we just read again), her history and her lineage.
Two key points from last year were:
- She is a disciple. She was a student and teacher of Jesus’s word and work of God.
- She made robes, which often mean a form of transition. In some of the translations, there are inner and outer robes. Inner represents newness in spirituality and outer robes newness in purpose.
Dorcas created simple change through simple deeds, changing the inner and outer lives of the people around her.
THE SIMPLEST THINGS HAVE THE MOST PROFOUND EFFECTS.
What are the most beautiful moments of your life. Take a moment. Think. Let them come. Often it is the simplest of things, the simplest of moments, the simplest of connections that bring us the most Joy.
This past week, I was reminded of the deep deep importance of shared sacred space. Safe, shared sacred space. Places where we feel heard. Places where we can be honest. Places where we can struggle. Places where we don’t feel judged.
Safe. Sacred. Space.
I was reminded (probably because of Fair too) of Dorcas. Sewing circles. Complementing societies and groups that support and encourage on another to do good work.
“Faith without work has little to offer.” That was a quote that came up this week for me to ponder. It’s like words without deeds. It’s superficial. It is not so much what Jesus says (and we can argue for eternity what words are his and which were added later), but it is his actions that bring us faith and encourage us to be better people. It is the way he behaves and is. His example. His footsteps to show us the way to follow, do, act.
That is what Dorcas does. She gives us an example of a life of good work. An example to follow.
I’m going to add a layer to this year. Layers…ahh, the layers that come when we begin to deepen the study of something. First we explore the outer layers, then we peel those away and dig deeper, and then we peel some more. And (maybe) eventually we get to the core. Maybe.
Spirituality is exploring and witnessing. What? The Mystery. The capital M Mystery. The greatest Mysteries of life are:
We try to undersand, but truly they are a Mystery. Why are we born? Why are we born to die?
The Dorcas story reminds us that with every gift of a life, there will be death and dying. We know this, even if we don’t understand it, we don’t want to understand it. It’s a mystery.
There are two very powerful messages in the scripture.
- The power of Prayer. The power of prayer to life us up and comfort us. Like the inner and outer garments. The garments of newness in spirituality and the newness of purpose. Newness is a bringing in. There is always a letting go wherever there is something new. We can not keep adding and adding and adding. There must be a subtraction to create space. Perhaps that is why these elements of newness are surrounded by the reminder of Dorcas’s mortality. There is power, and comfort, in prayer. Quiet space to self reflect and be present with God.
- The power of Faith. At a certain point, we simply have to have faith in the Mystery. We can not control it. We can not understand everything. Sometimes, we must surrender to it, trust, and have faith.
Dorcas reminds us that time is limited. She reminds us that to live a full life is a blessing. She reminds us that to be a comfort to others in a blessing. That to be a part of safe, shared sacred space is a blessing.
In prayer and faith, we come together to our own shared, sacred space where we may sit together in silence and in prayer. Where we can lift up our voices in Joy. Where we can listen to and comfort one another. Where we can ponder the deeper Mystery of God.