Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
As I join Dr. Harvey in sharing reflections on biblical characters, I can’t think of a better place to start than with a man named Stephen. (I just wish his parents had been a little more careful in spelling his name.)
We find his story told in Acts chapters 6 and 7. It is a good investment of 15 minutes of a day to read what Stephen did and said in telling the good news of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. As a teaser, let’s look again at how he is introduced to biblical readers:
“[He was] a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.”
It makes me wonder how someone might describe this “Steven.” And you may ask if you have lived your life in such a way that you would be happy with the words someone might use to introduce you to the world?
Dear God, let me “live so that the preacher doesn’t have to lie at my funeral.” Keep on the path of following our Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.