As we prepare for worship on Sunday, please read the story of Stephen, Acts 6:8-7:2a, 51-60, and as you read, pay attention to every instance of the word “spirit.” 

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

The spirit, in all the ways it blows in change, can be a force that both unsettles and grounds. In our account of Stephen’s ministry we can almost feel how powerful the spirit is in helping Stephen and how powerful it is in convicting those opposed to the good news. Those listening to Stephen who were not open to the work of the spirit witnessed its power through wonders and signs and it scared them, so much so that they plotted against him. Stephen witnessed to the work of the spirit as he stayed grounded in the love and power of God even in the midst of murderous crowds. Maybe we should be paying attention to our own internal responses to the work of the spirit: are we scared or grounded? Anxious or confident? Maybe a little of both?

Friends, the spirit is still at work. Do you feel it? Do you feel it blowing change among us, changing us from our ways of death to ways of life? Do you feel it enfolding us in God’s grace and love? As we hear the story of Stephen this weekend, may we take note of the spirit’s activity in our church and be brave enough to witness the ways God keeps moving us to new life. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Good and Gracious God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.