Text: Acts 7:59-8:8
In thanksgiving that Christ is born
For faith to go where Christ calls you
THE CHURCH IN WISDOM designates the three days after Christmas as feast days remembering her martyrs—men and women who give witness to Christ with their lives. Today, the Feast of St. Stephen, remembers the first Christian martyr who gave witness to Christ in both word and in deed.
These three days are a bracing reminder that our celebrating of Christmas is not simply about the holiday festivities, the eating and drinking, the parties and the family fun, but it is about the earth-rattling news that God has entered into human history and is on to the move to reclaim what is rightly his. We should not be surprised at the opposition to his efforts, even within our own hearts. We must never forget that the coming of Christ to us means that a battle against sin, death and evil are being waged. We must never discount the weapons God has given us in this fight—his wonderful Word, his grace-filled Sacraments, his Spirit-filled people gathered together.
As we greet one another with “Merry Christmas,” let us remember that this is no mere sentimentality, but a pledge that we—like Stephen before us—are joined to Christ and welcome his coming, regardless of the consequences.
May you know Christmas joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks