Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When the Stones get Thrown

Third Week of Easter

But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’
Acts 7:55,56

Stephen has been falsely accused of blasphemy before the Sanhedrin.  He continues to boldly proclaim the truth about Jesus before them, incurring their mounting rage. The greater their anger the more insistent Stephen becomes about the divinity of Jesus, ending with a glorious apparition of seeing "heaven thrown open" with Jesus and God the Father waiting for him.  Saint Stephen is acknowledged as the Church's first martyr. You wouldn't die for what you know to be a lie. It is upon his blood and the blood of others who soon follow him that the foundations of the Church are firmly and unshakably laid.

This reminds me of a line from a News Boys song:  "When the stones get thrown, they either miss or they turn to Glory."  For Stephen, they turned to Glory.  It's not a matter of IF but WHEN the stones get thrown. Standing up for Jesus makes me a target.  This is the boldness I claim today to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus.  Fill me with a zeal to proclaim You to my world which is crying out to know the truth.
Saint Stephen pray for me.

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