I hope you had a great Christmas 🙂 In the Church’s liturgical calendar, the Feast of St. Stephen, the first recognized Christian martyr, comes the day after Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but this has always struck me as a powerful statement. The anticipation in Advent gives way to the joy that comes with Christmas, only to give way to the realization that to be a follower of this newborn King comes with a cost.
If you want to read about St. Stephen, you’ll find his story in the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-8:1). He was known to be a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit (6:5), and his courage under persecution is powerful. And yet, most of us don’t pay attention to the link between the birth of Christ and the death of the first martyr. Maybe you weren’t even aware of it.
Just something to ponder as we continue to recover, clean up, and get ready for things to get back to normal. If you have a few minutes to spare in the next couple of days, read Stephen’s story in Acts.