Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

“who was always doing good and helping the poor” Acts 9:36

In this amazing story where Peter through Christ’s power brings Dorcas back to life we have a wonderful Biblical example of a woman who did little acts, but clearly many such acts. In this story we hear that the other widows present at the scene showed Peter robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made, presumably for those in need.

She was therefore putting a natural talent that she had at the disposal of those in need around her. What a testimony then that she was chosen to be raised from the dead and be remembered forever more. Doesn’t that affirm us in doing the little acts we can do without ceasing and without tiring?

1 Peter 4:10 exhorts us to “use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. We have all received different gifts and as such the little acts I do will be very different to those my neighbour or my friends might choose to do. That’s great news. We can fill our communities with an abundance and variety of little acts, and the great thing about doing something using our natural talents and gifts is that it is so easy!

I could try and fix someone else’s bike but it would be a real trial and not in any way an enjoyment (that doesn’t mean we should never consider going that extra mile to help!) but how much better to be able to help people in ways more natural to me – helping someone with an accounting query, looking after their children while they go to a doctor’s appointment, cooking a meal.

I was interviewed by BBC Radio York yesterday, nothing to do with Acts 435, but as a parent following the report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the cost of raising a child and how parents are having their budgets squeezed by rising inflation above increases in tax credits, benefits, salaries, etc.

As budgets are squeezed, little acts to help take on even greater impact. Fresh fruit, for example, can quickly become out of reach for many parents, especially the type of fruit children like best, like grapes. Do you know struggling parents you could buy some grapes for this week?