Face of an angel
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. ~ Acts 6:8-15
Have you ever known someone - whether inside or outside the church - that made you feel more connected to God than others?
Someone who, when they spoke, warmed your heart?
Or when you saw the love shining through them, humbled you?
I've seen lots of them. I've been privileged working for one church or another for the last seventeen years, and before that I spent most of my life taking part in either youth ministry, or serving in worship or on call committees or councils or being in bible studies. So I've had a lifetime of knowing folks who have inspired me in such a way.
And to be honest, the majority of them weren't "apostles" (or pastors). They weren't the called leaders (though I've worked closely with some wonderful called leaders as well).
Most of them were ordinary people called to do extraordinary things. And many of them had no idea how extraordinary they were.
Stephen was called to feed widows and orphans. He wasn't called to be another Peter. Saul, not Stephen, would become Paul.
And yet Stephen did great signs and wonders.
And had the face of an angel.
Stephen incited the fury of the high council with his integrity and truth.
Truth often has a way of doing that.
Stephen was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things.
What extraordinary things are you being called to?
God of signs and wonders, help me not fear the extraordinary work you have called me to. Amen.