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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Practicing Pentecost
About this time every year I read through the Acts of the Apostles. Today I read about Stephen in The Message Translation. Stephen, one of the seven, (who clearly rival the Twelve in significance as the Story unfolds) is given this bio: "a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit."

Next we get this, "Stephen, brimming with God's grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them."

Next an unlikely alliance of Jewish leaders conspire against him but the text says, "But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke." Then this: "As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn't take their eyes off him--his face was like the face of an angel!"

"Then the Chief Priest said, 'What do you have to say for yourself?'"

The amazing thing about Stephen's reply is that he had nothing to say for himself. He simply recounted their own story to them, starting with Abraham and going through Moses. Interestingly enough, he never seems to speak of Jesus and yet you get the sense that his entire story-telling is clearly pointing to Jesus. Next they began to mob him.

And this, "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed--he only had eyes for God, whom he saw in all his glory with Jesus standing at this side. He said, 'Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God's side!'"

He only had eyes for God. . . .. . . . .

I think this passage and others we see in the Acts of the Apostles interprets for us the meaning of Paul's encouragement in Ephesians 6-- "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. . . . . . ."
posted by John David Walt | at 6/13/2006 11:03:00 AM



Blogger Amie Lou said...

This is a good word - thanks for posting about it :)


1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger eli said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:25 PM EDT  
Blogger eli said...

one of my favorites. i love bauer's take about how stephen was falsely accused of speaking against the old law and temple. so he says, essentially, "i didn't say that, but now that you bring it up, you worship those things and cannot even see the God behind them anymore!" pretty interesting if you look at the email i JUST sent you...weird!

4:27 PM EDT  

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