Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Stoning of Stephen (Acts 6 & 7)

When the early church was rapidly growing,
The disciples selected seven men
To serve widows in their distress,
One of them being Spirit-filled Stephen;
He was full of faith and wisdom
And God’s power and grace,
Performing great signs and wonders
But opposing Jews vainly tried to debate
Then they plotted and stirred up the people,
Bringing false witnesses before the Sanhedrin 
Accusing him of blaspheming Moses and God
All who sat in the council saw an angelic Stephen 
The high priest inquired of him,
"Are these charges against you true?”
Stephen replied, explaining 
How the God of glory had moved
Through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
How God’s people would be set apart
And how Joseph was sold into slavery
By his jealous brothers, the patriarchs 
Stephen spoke of how Moses, the prophet 
Was powerful in speech and deed
And how God called him and used him
In the wilderness and at the Red Sea
Though Moses spoke living words from God,
They chose to worship idols instead
“You are like those who killed the prophets
But you’ve killed the Christ,” Stephen said 
The members of the Sanhedrin 
Became enraged and on Stephen they gnawed
He said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man,
Jesus, standing at the right hand of God”
They all yelled and rushed at Stephen 
Stoning him, as he prayed on his knees
“Do not hold this sin against them,
Lord Jesus, my spirit, receive”
—-

September 7, 2017