But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
Earlier in Acts we learn that Stephen was selected as one of seven to continue Jesus' ministry. He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Here, nearing his death at the hands of doubters who are full of jealousy and hatred, Stephen still proclaims his faith.
Over and over, not only in the Bible, but throughout my own life's brief history we are faced with those proclaiming God. Who is right? Who knows the way? Which way is righteous?
I've often asked others this very question. How do we know whom to believe? Remember the old bumper stickers? WWJD? It was like a secret reminder. What would Jesus do? I think that's a good place to start. If someone proclaims love over hate, selflessness over selfishness, heavenly gain over personal gain, then I think they are someone to be believed. Stephen pointed to the beauty in the world. He pointed to the doubters of the past. Doubters of Moses and Jesus. He asked people not to doubt God.
So in the midst of this world epidemic, the entire world has ground to a snail's pace. The air is becoming clean. The animals are thriving, and many of us are going crazy staying home, and changing our habits and ways, learning to church-at-home, work-at-home, and study-at-home electronically. No matter how the world changes, God does not change. God's love for us is evermore! Let's remember Stephen by proclaiming the good news of God's love!
God, in my aloneness I do not feel isolated for I have you! Thanks for being with us, always and forever. In Jesus' name I pray with thankfulness. Amen.