Skip to comments.Dec. 26 - St. Stephen's Day (and Day Two of Christmastide)
Posted on 12/26/2006 12:34:29 PM PST by sionnsar
This morning on the way to Church the radio informed me that today is "Boxing Day", and it gave me the history/reasons why it is Boxing Day. Funny, how the NPR radio host sounded a little bit like a priest explaining the reasons for Boxing Day. Of course, according to the official religion of Materialism, today is reckoned as a High Holy Day! The adherents to that faith will be expected to present themselves at the Temple (the shopping mall) and pay their tithes.
Anglicans, however, and all catholic Christians know this day as St. Stephen's Day. So, as a Christian priest, allow me to elaborate briefly upon the meaning of our Holy Day. St. Stephen was a deacon of the early Church, and he was the first Christian martyr, killed by stoning. His day is celebrated with the color red, customary to martyrs.
The word "martyr" is from a Greek word meaning "witness". St. Stephen and other Christian martyrs give witness by their death, to our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God Incarnate, Messiah and Saviour of all peoples of the earth.
In his death, St. Stephen raised his eyes heavenward and saw Jesus standing on God's right hand. As his murders shouted vile threats and hurled rocks at him, he freely forgave them, praying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge".
In his death, St. Stephen showed us where the focus of the Christian should be, namely that we must keep our eyes fixed heavenward. Our hope and our joy is in heaven. Even though rocks are being hurled and we hear the vile shouting of persecutors, we may rejoice in the knowledge that Christ is at God's right hand interceding for us.
From the Anglican Liturgy: "Lift up your hearts! We lift them up unto the Lord".
Well, that answers that. :o)
Actually it's the Synaxis of the Theotokos. Tomorrow is the Feast of the Deacon and Protomartyr Stephen.
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