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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

The First Martyr

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Acts 7:51 – 8:1
 
St Stephen enlightened before the first stone is cast.Martyrdom is the greatest sign of Christian unity: men and women united in their commitment to laying down their lives for their Saviour.  Regardless of denomination, Stephen holds pride of place, as first among equals.
 
But martyrdom is not only for the saints.  As St Clement of Alexandria explained, “Martyrdom means bearing witness to God.  Every soul that seeks in pureness of heart to know God and obeys the commandments of God is a martyr, bearing witness by life or words.  In fact, even if it is not a matter of shedding blood, the soul is pouring out its faith because it is by faith that the soul will be separated from the body before a person dies."
 
Whatever our situation in life, we are called – like Stephen, our brother in faith – to be witnesses to the gospel of life.  Each of us is called to die to ourselves and to live for God.  In dying to ourselves we find life and become witness to God’s love, mercy and compassion.
 
Lord Jesus Christ, great me a sure grasp of the truth that in dying to self and living for you I may discover the mystery and meaning of life.
 
 
Chris
 
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