February 16, 2021
And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60 ESV
Stephens’ speech is remarkable and Spirit-led. His succinct recounting of the history of the patriarchs, and particularly of Moses’ prefigured attributes of Christ, flow like poetry. And then he brings it home by calling out the religious leaders in a similar manner to Jesus’ seven woes. Finally, when being pelted with stones, Stephen speaks words of grace and forgiveness for his enemies that echo Jesus’ last words from the Cross. That is the radical nature of our Gospel. It communicates words of grace that bring reconciliation and healing to those whose hearts are receptive and an inexhaustible offer of forgiveness to those whose hearts are not.
Father God, help us to rely on your Holy Spirit’s guidance to speak words of grace that convict and restore. And grant us courage and humility to forgive others when they push back toward us with hostility. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling