December 26, 2018 Wednesday ST. STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR

Acts of the Apostles 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Psalm 31

Matthew 10:17-22

Stephen, filled with grace and power was working great wonders and signs among the people.  Acts 6:8

“You will be hated by all because of my name.”  Mt. 10:22

Lord, it’s hard to go from the peaceful, loving image of you as an infant in the manger to the cruel stoning to death of your deacon St. Stephen.  It wasn’t long after your birth that you and your parents had to flee from a mad king trying to kill you.  Violence, misunderstanding, rejection and suffering seem to be part of the ways of your disciples. Stephen only spoke the truth about you.  He dared to live boldly and confidently in his faith in you.  As a deacon he was a servant of all and showed the way for all deacons to come.  Lord, I pray today for any of your followers who are being persecuted for believing in you and living their faith.  I pray for all deacons and their wives who serve your church and do not count the cost.  May more men accept the call to be formed as deacons in your church.  As we continue to celebrate this glorious and joyous season of Christmas keep our minds and hearts open to your grace so that we too can work great wonders and signs of your power on earth.  Amen.