December 26, 2015
(St. Stephen, First Deacon and Martyr)
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people . . . who could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. . . . he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” . . . They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. . . . As they were stoning Stephen, he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts6:8-10;7:54-59
Jesus said to his disciples: . . . (You will be persecuted, but) When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Mt_10:17-22
Stephen spoke boldly about the Lord. He spoke of all the errors the Israelites had made in not keeping with the Law and Commands of the LORD. And He implored that they turn from their evil ways back to God, and now to belief in Jesus, God’s only begotten Son. But they refused. Their hearts were so hardened that they quickly snuffed out this beautiful voice of God. Just makes us wonder, beloved, are there times when we snuff out His voice as well? Maybe it’s something we don’t want to do. Maybe it’s something we don’t want to quit – that we shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Maybe we need to come back to God as well. He’s there, always waiting for us. Thank you Stephen, for showing us the way – the way to Jesus who showed us the way to God.
O Come let us adore Him!
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