As we wrapped up a rather disheartening deliverance session and walked out to our cars, my friend reported something strange. They were having an open vision of sorts where they could see a beam of light coming off the top of my head and extending into the night sky. I couldn’t see it, but I felt it meant that I could provide them with some breakthrough and that I had been appointed and equipped to help them. This weird moment was further accented by someone else constantly telling me over the following weeks that they thought I was an angel (though they didn’t see the same vision).
When Stephen, who was full of the Holy Spirit, was brought before the religious council of Jerusalem, it was reported that, “all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” This strange expression seems to evoke the memory of Moses’ glowing face after he came down Mount Sinai where he met with God.
There in that scene you would have expected the high religious council to have the face of angels, but instead it was the accused man they had brought in for judgment. There Stephen prophesied and taught the council about Jesus with the wisdom of the Spirit. And it’s there that the council sentenced him to be stoned to death. They did not look for the interpretation in whatever it was they were seeing or feeling in Stephen. Instead, they closed their ears and killed the prophet, as had been done many times before throughout history.
The Bible often tells Christians to “shine” and “be light.” We are to do this right now in this dark world with our present bodies, especially through our good works. But we also do this knowing that in the new creation world to come, our resurrected bodies shine like the sun and stars.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 6 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.