StoningStephen

People are lost without Christ.  Our nation needs a moral compass to guide it.  Will you be such a man as Stephen to rise up and point people to Christ?  Consider the life of that Spirit filled man, Stephen; and how his life blended into the life of Christ until they had become as one fully united.  Based on the Gospels and the account in Acts 6:8 through 8:1, I have noted these thoughts in poetic fashion:

Two Crys Among the Rocks

It was Mary’s time.

All of Heaven was watching.

Then the shameful happened…in Bethlehem no room at the Inn.

Heaven gasped at the story:

The summoning star,

Shepherd and beast and king

Each in their place.

Heavenly hosts held the moment in awe.

A baby cried.

Thirty-three years passed as though it was only a moment.

In Jerusalem another cry is heard…it is no new born cry.

But it is a cry that seven times pierces the air.

“Forgive them they know not what they do.”

Saul held their clothing.

The Righteous from the Synagogue of Freedom

Tore their clothing and grasped stones.

I, Stephen, saw the stones…the stones

The stones hurling, smiting the earth…God made flesh…

The stones thudding on my flesh.

The bestial mob howls,

The King is witness.

Yesterday soft flesh and birth blood,

Today pulped flesh and death blood.

Rocks crushing, life streaming from broken flesh.

Yet the triumphant cry,

“I see my God!”

The Spirit filled man sleeps.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord

Is the death of His saints.”

In the presence of the Firstborn from the dead,

Blessed, Stephen, the first martyr.

The joy and sorrow of a cry

Heard by shepherds, and Beasts,

Priests and King.

Birth among the rocks…cave and Hill and stones

Accused blasphemers meet in a cry,

“Forgive them they know not what they do.”

There is in theology what is called esprit de corps.  That is to say that whatever happened to our Biblical brethren also happened to me. It was not just that they stoned Stephen, but in some sense I was the one stoned. It was not only that Paul was beaten with rods and whips, but I was beaten because of my faith.  There ought to be such a kindred feeling with those heroes of faith (compare Hebrews 11) that when we finally see them in Heaven we will not need an introduction to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    - Jerris Bullard

 

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