Prayer: O God, let your Word shape my life and my action to share your Word with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
…and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. (v. 58)
Our devotion writer asks many questions about how we, like Saul, stand by as witness to injustice and wrong doing and do, or say nothing. Saul actually supported the killing of Stephen and he later persecuted other Christians. But it is important to note that as witnesses it is hard to tell the difference between those who throw the stones and those of us who just watch. Our devotion writer asks; “How many times have I stood by while God’s heart broke?”
Even today we have seen persecution of Christians and restrictions put on our ability to share the love of Jesus even in our own country. Do we stand up and defend against this, or do we just watch?
Is it enough to know that we have been guilty of inaction and silence? Is this not evidence of our own brokenness? We are called to bring peace and to share it with the love of God. We are also called to stand up for injustice. Is it enough to admit our failures? Remember too that God used both Stephen and Saul (later known as Paul) to spread the message of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: “Faithful God, move me to use my voice and life for good, through Christ. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
55 But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.