It’s time to move forward. As God told Moses and the Israelites at Horeb, “You have stayed at this mountain long enough. Resume your journey…” (Deuteronomy 1:6-7, HCSB), so also is it time to move on and away from what’s gone on here for the last several days.
This morning I was reading through Acts 6 and I was struck by the life of Stephen. He was one of the “seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom” selected to tend to the Grecian widows who’d been neglected in the daily distribution. He was also described as “full of faith” (v. 5). Still later, we read of Stephen as “full of grace and power…performing great wonders and signs among the people” (v. 8). He met formidable opposition from those of the Freedman’s Synagogue, but “they were not able to stand up against the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” (v. 10). Ultimately, his history lesson of Israel’s rejections of God’s prophets over the years, which culminated in the rejection of the Messiah, got him killed. But what a compelling argument he was for the faith of Christ!
The guy chosen to “wait on tables” (v. 2) apparently had much more to offer. And he did. Inside of him was a heart for souls. His ministry was about meeting the needs of others. If by food distribution, so be it. He offered food that met physical needs, but he was also willing to serve food “that lasts for eternal life” (John 6:27).
Service, in whatever form, is mighty ministry. Jesus boldly proclaimed the “living word” with passion and urgency; yet, washing his disciples’s feet was no less ministry, and no less significant.
Like Jesus, Stephen wasn’t a one talent man. His selection for a specific work didn’t mean he wasn’t fit for anything else. In a sense, I think it helped groom him for more. Unfortunately, it seems to have been a life cut short, but like others who have gone on before, “though he is dead, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4).