The picture has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm writing about this morning. It's just that I can't let Brad have all the nice photos! This one (which I took in Switzerland) is of glacier water melting from some higher elevation of the Jungfrau and gushing forth out of a rock.
I thought this morning that I'd allure you into thinking about something I want to talk about in the next couple of weeks on Wednesday evenings as we continue to examine the meteoric contribution of Stephen in Acts 6 & 7. Next week, after Stephen's sermon is over and his doom written, he will be killed. But as he dies, he does something that adds further insult to injury as far as the Sanhedrin was concerned. He prayed to Jesus (Acts 7:59-60)! The confounded Pliny wrote to Emperor Trajan about the early Christians, "They even sang a hymn to Christ as if to a god."
From the earliest days of the church, Jesus was the center of their devotional life. Believers were baptized in the name of Jesus, and they celebrated their most sacred meal by partaking of bread and wine meant to represent the body and blood of Jesus. As later creeds formalized this, they did not represent any growth in the magnification of Jesus Christ. From the very beginning, they understood him to be none other than the Lord of glory.