But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. // Acts 7:55
Lest you think Christianity is simply the once a year adoration of a Baby born in a manger surrounded by cuddly farm animals, the Church gives us the strong reminder of the demand of Christianity by making the feast of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen the day after the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Saint Stephen is the first martyr of the Church. He was stoned shortly after the death of Jesus for his bold proclamation of the Gospel. Those who did not like his words did not simply walk away, ignore, or socially castigate Stephen. Instead they picked up large rocks and formed a mob in order to kill him, all for speaking the words with which the Holy Spirit filled his soul and mind.
Saint Stephen knew and believed that Jesus Christ, that Baby born in a manger, was indeed the Savior of the World. A Savior Who came to bring freedom from sin, eternal life, and intimacy with God to each and every person on earth. Saint Stephen could not just live his life basking in knowing Christ while He walked on earth, he had to share the love and power of Christ even if it meant death. That is the power faith in Christ can have on the human heart.
The celebration of Christmas does not end in Bethlehem, but in sharing the transforming message of the Gospel to everyone in our lives, no matter the cost.
As we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, in what small way can you share the Gospel with those in your life?
Share the Gospel. // Christy Isinger Click to tweet