Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr

"Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Acts 7:56-59

Stephen, one of the first martyrs, stood up for God and his glorious kingdom. He died giving his spirit up to Jesus. An awesome ending to a life given to God. Stephen gave his life and paid a high price to serve God.

We also read of the visciousness of people don't we. How easily it is to stir their anger. How speaking of God's kingdom, can cause such aggravation in people's lives. When their ears are so closed to God's message and the truth of the Divine as Stephen was relating to them what he saw. How this brought death all for the truth.

We read of of his stoning and the anger and cruelty of the people in the time just after Jesus death. If they acted in this way in the early days of the truth, what does that say about us? We don't go around stoning people because of what they believe. We don't exactly treat them well either. How about the many areas that are war torn, is it because of the belief or lack of.

And the areas that many are persecuted and hide to practise their faith, for fear of being murdered. Are we any better than the one's who stoned Stephen then. We show how barbaric we really are. We are jealous of those with faith, we hate those who have more, we are selfish beyond compare. It takes disasters for us to help and give of ourselves and forget our selfish wants. There is so much good, yet so much that needs purifying.

If we were writing the Bible right now and relating Stephens works, would we be written in the same light as those who have gone before us two thousand years ago. The world suffers far more now than it did then. What can we as a whole do to change what would be written of us.

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