The Choosing of Deacons and the Arrest of Stephen

This meditation is based on a passage for August 11, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Acts 6:1-15

Reflection and Question: Stephen is among the first deacons whose practical service freed the other leaders in the first Christian communities to dedicate themselves to prayer and proclamation. Yet clearly Stephen speaks as well, for he is brought before the authorities to answer for his words, wonders and signs. Despite the plotting by some, Luke concludes here that the Jewish council studied Stephen intently and saw “that his face was like the face of an angel.” Whatever the outcome of their judgment, Stephen’s preaching touched them. How would you respond if taken as Stephen is here?

Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, we marvel at the way the first community of believers grew and grew. We watch as they adapt to each new situation, a reminder of the great hymn phrase, “New occasions teach new duties.” Teach us, as well. Amen.