Prayer: Let your Word flow, Wonderful God, let Your words teach and heal and lead us to serve as Jesus did. In His name. Amen.
The face of hope
15 And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Stephen’s face was like that of an angel! What does an angel look like? Could it be like a face of a child whose feels safe and secure and has no worries? Is it like the face of someone comfortable in their own skin and content in the face of criticism? Is it a face that shows no signs of stress or discomfort? All we know is that Stephen’s face is described this way.
Stephen was arrested and charged with lies and false accusations, yet he remained calm and confident, with his faith in God to comfort him. Nothing would shake his faith. Nothing would tear him down. His spirits remained strong because he had seen death and the resurrection of his Lord.
Our devotion writer writes; “Stephen teaches us how to face hardship and persecution—to look forward to the Rison One, who overcame death and the cross so that we have nothing to fear.”
Prayer: “Steadfast God, give us courage to speak up and tell your story. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Arrest of Stephen
8 Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13 They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” 15 And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.