The first martyr

Read: Acts 6-7
Monday, May 1, 2017

Stephen is known as the first martyr of the church, in the larger narrative in Acts, in chapter seven we read that after he preaches, he incites the crowds to such a level of anger and fear that they take the law into their own hands and violently stone him to death.   As he is dying he utters, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!”
His story has much to teach us about faithfulness in the face of violent opposition. 
It stands as a witness to what it looks like to live a resurrected life.
It offers us the opportunity to bring to light our increasing tendency to use words to divide us from one another, to claim the corner on truth, that result in our ease at joining the mob in standing behind claims without taking the time to even hear the other side or other sides of the story, and our adamant insistence on being right.

Prayer: Holy God, may the words of scripture be a song that sings throughout my day.  May your love and compassion be the source of courage I need to face those who seek to harm, tear down, and destroy.  Amen.


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