Acts 7:54 - 8:1
The Stoning of Stephen
54When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul approved of their killing him.
Reflection. Stephen was one of those we read of yesterday who was chosen to serve. His faithful witness to Jesus cost him his life. Many Christians today will suffer persecution. I doubt I will. What about you? Would we hold fast to our faith, turn our eyes to Jesus and pray for those who persecute us? These are difficult questions to ponder. Yet, remember that we have the Holy Spirit to help us, to guide us and give us peace.
One last person to notice: Saul. Change was coming for that man. And not just his name.
Prayer. Lord Jesus, thank you for your servant, Stephen. Thank you for his love and devotion to the end. Amen