On the first day after Christmas, we celebrate the first martyr of the church. There were so many people of great need in the church during his time that he was called to be a deacon to help the poor. He answered the call and did many good works and miracles among the people. However, this upset the religious leaders of the day. They put him on trial and sentenced him to death just like Jesus. They stoned him, but he kept his faith. As he was dying, he called out for God to forgive those who persecuted him. His death, instead of slowing the Jesus movement, catapulted it to new life. All Christians who do acts of service to help the poor and downtrodden follow in his footsteps.
This is a day to focus on helping those in need. In many English speaking countries, it is called Boxing Day, which is a day to box up the things you no longer need and give them to the poor. Before you put your Christmas gifts away, we recommend going through your closet and giving some things away.
For feasting on this day, eat leftovers. They can be as simple as warming up yesterdays lunch in the microwave, but we also sometimes like to use the leftover turkey carcass from Christmas dinner to make Turkey and Dumplings with Drop Biscuits. Or maybe the best feast for this day is to give some food to the local food pantry. In doing so, those in need can eat a nutritious meal and you can have the joy of continuing Stephen’s work.
Pictured Above: Painting of St. Stephen (Luis de Morales, 1575 – Oil on Panels)