Warmest Christmas greetings! I hope you and yours are having a joyous and hope-filled Christmas season!
The day after Christmas Day is a special day for us. It is the Feast of Stephen. Stephen is remembered as the first deacon and martyr. And he serves us as our patron saint.
So what does it mean to follow someone who so clearly went first?
Are we following someone who went first or are we being asked to be a people who go first?
I think the answer is yes.
Thinking about the congregation’s character, I don’t think we are naturally a “go first” people. We have teachers and medical professionals and administrators and communicators, and a whole host of other professions who make their home in our community.
What we all have in common, however, is a deep commitment to service. To serving with grace and devotion.
I don’t think Stephen was “good at” going first. I think he was devoted to serving God and other people.
And maybe that is the one thing most necessary to be like him. To do what he did. To follow and lead like him. We don’t have to be the most talented, we just need the heart to give it a shot. Doing what is most important when it is most important. Often that means we are called to do it before anyone else.