Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Acts 7:9-16 (NRSV)
“The patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and enabled him to win favor and to show wisdom when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout Egypt and Canaan, and great suffering, and our ancestors could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there on their first visit. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five in all; so Jacob went down to Egypt. He himself died there as well as our ancestors, and their bodies were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.”
Stephen, full of grace and power, had been hauled before the council. They asked him questions, but no honest answer would have saved his life. So, he did what people of faith have always done: He remembered and spoke of the mighty acts of God, of how God used unlikely instruments for the salvation of Israel.
When, as people of faith, we are faced with cruel circumstances beyond our control, we remember that God is with us, has always been with us, and will be with us yet. We tell the stories of our faith in a Creator who loves us and sustains us and will not let our faith be vanquished no matter what forces try to make us give up on ourselves.
O Lord, our Savior, sustain us in times of trouble. We know you never forsake us. Use us, Lord, as your instruments of kingdom building. Amen.
Go with God.