Acts 6:1-7 NIV
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Reflection. This is a seminal passage in the Acts of the Apostles. Orders or offices in the life of the church begin development. This is not about some people being more important than others. No, it is quite the opposite. It recognises the need to set some apart for different vocations. Some of these vocations allow others space and time for their calling to be carried through. The church needed people full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom and set them apart to ensure all were fed fairly and equally. Is this the start of diaconal ministry? Maybe.
What it does remind us is that every single role or task, within the life of the church, is important. All roles set others free to Find One. Those chosen in the passage set the apostles free for their ministry. In our churches, those who make coffee, those who clean, those who visit, set others free to be fulfilled in their ministry.
Prayer. Lord Jesus, help us to honour those who do 'the little things.' Amen.