Feed My Sheep and Clothe the Naked

Two Sundays ago the gospel lesson came from John 21: 1-17 in which the Resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter and several of the other disciples after they had an unsuccessful night of fishing. After Jesus provided fish for them to catch, He had breakfast with them.

Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Each time that Peter told Him that he did, Jesus commanded Peter to feed His sheep. His meaning was that, if Peter truly loved his Master, he needed to take care of Christ’s people.

And Jesus expects us to do the same to those who are less fortunate than we are. That is why, at the beginning of each Sunday School service, the youth help to pack the 40 bags of food that will go to the needy children at Deep Run Elementary School so that they will have food for over the next weekend.

Besides feeding the hungry, Jesus wants us to clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison, give drinks to the thirsty, and welcome the stranger. And when we do those things Jesus says, “Truly , I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 36-40

Last Sunday’s lesson, found in Acts: 9 36-43, was about Tabitha (in Greek, Dorcus) who did those very things for the widows and other needy people in her city of Joppa. She was a disciple of  Jesus and a believer of His Resurrection.

When Peter was preaching in the nearby city of Lydda, two men came to take him to Joppa because Tabitha had died. When Peter got there, the weeping widows showed him the many clothes that Tabitha had made for them. Peter asked the people to leave, prayed over Tabitha’s body, and she returned to life.

Both Peter and Tabitha were disciples of Jesus and followed his commands. And we should, too.

The students cut out figures of men and women dressed in clothes that were worn in Jesus’s times. They punched holes around the figures and then sewed yarn between the holes. This was done to remind them of Tabitha ministry to the poor of Joppa. In the middle of the figures, they wrote the prayer, “Lord, help me to be like Tabitha whose good work showed others Jesus’s love.”

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