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Monday, December 27, 2004

Have we heard?

Bunnie has a great post on St. Stephen, whose feast was celebrated this past Sunday. An excerpt:

They murdered Stephen to protect God. They had their idea of how God should be and all Pastor Stephen would talk about and preach about was Jesus. The more the Pastor Stephen preached, the more they grew angry. Finally, they covered their ears and screamed at the top of their lungs to drown out the Gospel of Christ coming from his lips.

If they did this, you will also be tempted to do this. The Law never points to someone else, it always points to you. The Word of God, preached and read, engages us, it calls us to repent of the dark deeds we do. It demands that we put away our sins. It never stops, it always condemns us.

This stood out to me, particularly in light of Stephen's words to the Pharisees accusing him:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
To hear the Word proclaimed means we must have our hearts and ears circumcised by the Holy Spirit. Stephen doesn't criticize the Pharisees for having uncircumcised vision, or an uncircumcised sense of smell -- his testimony reminds us that the communication of faith is uniquely oral, coming from the mouth of God via the mouth of those proclaiming the Gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit.