Dear Fellow Redeemed,
Here it is October already. And you know what that means. It’s the last full month of those incessant political campaign ads! Well, as true as that is, October is noted for much more than that. The month ends with the celebration of the Reformation, which will now mark its five-hundred-first anniversary. The month begins, at least in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, with LWML Sunday (which we will observe on Oct. 14 this year). The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (or Lutheran Women in Mission) has a long history of serving the Lord, His church, and the world. And there is a special commemoration day in October that recognizes just a few of the faithful women of the early church who helped to lay the groundwork of what would eventually be known as the LWML.
October 25th is set aside on the Christian calendar to commemorate Dorcas (Tabitha), Lydia, and Phoebe. Do you remember those women? Dorcas (also called Tabitha) is mentioned in Acts 9:36-43. The Bible describes her as a woman “full of good works and acts of charity” (Acts 9:36). Having come to believe in Jesus as her Savior, and having heard of His great acts of mercy and kindness for those in need, Dorcas was moved to imitate her Lord by making tunics and other garments for those in need—a service that helped many. (Read that portion of Acts to see what great miracle was performed on her!)
Lydia is mentioned in Acts 16:11-15. She was a business woman (unusual for women back then) who traded in goods colored with expensive purple dye. When she heard the Gospel of Jesus and the Spirit awakened faith in her heart, she and her household were baptized and she offered that her house be used by the apostles for the believers in Philippi.
Phoebe is mentioned in Romans 16:1-2. The way St. Paul puts her first on the list of people the Christians in Rome should greet makes us think that she was the one who personally delivered his letter to them. Paul describes her as “a servant of the church” and “a patron of many and of myself as well.” A patron is one who sponsors someone else. Phoebe was moved by her faith in Jesus to help finance Paul’s mission trips.
We can easily see in these three women, and many, many others like them, the important role women played and continue to play in the life of the church. Like Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe, the LWML today is one avenue in which women use their talents and abilities, their vocations and money, and most of all their faith to serve Jesus, His church, and the world—a service that helps many, many people.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
In service to our Lord and to you,