"Lord, do not hold this sin against them." Stephen dies with this prayer on his lips,
knowing that God is a God of forgiveness. His killers' cloaks are held by Saul of Tarsus,
who watches this martyrdom from a safe distance, and perhaps wonders at the words of
forgiveness that usher from the mouth of a troublemaker. More than a bystander, but less
than a murderer, Saul stands in need of forgiveness from God.
One wonders if Saul, who becomes Paul, often reflected upon this day when Stephen died
and upon his need for God's loving forgiveness.
The word epiphany is from the Greek and refers to the experience of a sudden and amazing realization. Usually it’s applied to a scientific or philosophical/religious breakthrough, but it can apply in any situation in which a brilliant insight gives a person a different perspective on life or a problem s/he has been considering. For example, Archimedes’ famous shriek of “Eureka!” came as he was in the baths, contemplating yet again the difficulty of determining if a given mass would float.
Ron Love Mark Ellingsen Bob Ove Bonnie Bates Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 Imagine a worship service, a sharing of scripture and interpretation, that went on from dawn until midday. How would you respond? In many of our mainline churches a worship service that last more than an hour risks negative comments to the pastor. “Worship was too long.” “I have other things to do today.” “Can’t you try to keep worship to an hour?”
Some time ago there was a series of programmes on BBC 2 on the recent history of the Catholic Church. The series was called "Absolute Truth", and one programme looked at Catholicism in the developing parts of the world. It studied the work of liberation theologians in Latin America, particularly Leonardo Boff and Oscar Romero.