October 25, 2022
Dear Children of God! How are you? How is school? How are you doing in this term of education? We hope you are doing well! Children, education is very essential for our future and spiritual life. It is the foundation of Christianity and salvation. Church education especially guides us into the right path and way of life.
Children! It is very important to know the word of God and understand it so that we could have good manner, be righteous, diligent and holy as our creator God told as to be holy as He is Holy saying, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) It is also necessary to know the stories of saints and holy people so that we can live as same as them and live in heaven. This is the reason why we tell you stories of different saints that live many years ago but of which their stories are written in Holy books. Ok! Good!
Dear Children of God! this week, we are going tell you the story of Saint Stephen. Do you know him? You might have heard his name in the everyday service of Church; Divine Liturgy if you have paid attention. So, now we will narrate the whole story for you so be with us!
Saint Stephen’s parents are called Hanna and Simon. They were righteous people and live fearing God. They had two children and one of them was Stephen. He was born on Tir one (January nine). The meaning of his name is “Crown.” He was raised learning the commandment (law) of God and Church Liturgy whilst being serving his parents.
When he grew up, he was chosen by Lord Jesus Christ along with the twelve apostles to serve in preaching people Gospel (the word of God) The day of his election was Tikmet seventeen (October twenty-seven) Saint Stephen was full of grace, of the Holy Spirit, and of power. He used to perform signs and miracles among the people.
But then the Jews were jealous of him, captured him and brought him into their synagogue (temple) and they said, “We found him cursing God and Moses, saying that Jesus shall change the Law of Moses, and shall overthrow this holy place.” Those who were sitting round looked at the face of the blessed Stephen, and saw that it was like the face of an angel of God. They said to him, “Is this thing true which is said concerning you?” The saint answered and taught them about God’s word. Saint Stephen talked with them until he came to the building of the sanctuary (refuge). Then he lifted up his voice and said to them, “O you stiff- necked men, you dense of heart, at all-time do you resist the Holy Spirit, even as did your fathers who persecuted the prophets who prophesied, and who preached concerning Christ, whom you killed, and Who has risen from the dead.”
When the Jews heard this, they thought of killing him. Being full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Saint Stephen looked up to heaven. Just then he saw the glory of god, and Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of God His Father, and he said to them, “Behold! I see heaven open and Jesus standing on the right hand of God His Father.” The Jews shut their ears, and took him to outside the city and bit him with stones. Instead of hating or cursing them, Saint Stephen prayed to God on their behalf. He knelt down on his knees and said, “Receive my soul, Oh God. Let not this sin be counted about them”; He did as same as Lord Jesus whilst His crucfixation on the cross saying “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23L34) After this Saint Stephen died became a martyr. Then certain Christians came, carried away his body and buried him. He died on the same day of his birthday, it is not amazing children?
Dear Children of God! We shall be as similar as Saint Martyrs with faith and manner. We can learn many things from Saint Stephen and amongst are faith, good manners, obedience and forgiving. Just as he was obedient to his parents, leaned Church education and be strong during hard times, so as we shall be. We must read holy books as well to know about other saints like saint Stephen.
Farewell children, we hope you have everything we taught you and no more about God’s word so that you could become good children of God. Ok! Good!
May God be with you, Amen!