Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Feast of Stephan

Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Mt 10:17-22

The juxtaposition of the Feast of Stephen, immediately following Christmas, is an interesting contrast. Straight from birth to death, from entering this life to entering the life to come. The life that is made possible by that very birth, and the sacrifice to be made by the one born. Life that springs from death. Yet is that not just what the one born on the day before this Feast of Stephen came to teach us? Indeed the Christ came to teach us that in speaking fearlessly for God, without regard to the personal cost, we follow the example set by Christ. In following that example, we may be faced with a fate similar to Christ’s. Certainly in our world, at least in our part of it, such an occurrence is quite unlikely. You may be unpopular, you may be seen as odd or eccentric, indeed you may be a laughingstock to some. Not quite the fate of Christ, but uncomfortable, nonetheless. Speaking for God, standing for light, for truth and beauty against the darkness never is. Yet it is what we are called to do, it is who we are called to be. Stephen met the fate he did by simply following the example of the one who was born, by speaking fearlessly for the one who was born. Stephen placed his fate in the hands of the Christ, whose example he followed. Can we, should we, do any less?

Deacon John
Feast of Stephen
Dec. 26, 2007