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Acts 7:44-53, Stephen’s Speech to the Council

Friday, April 13

Confining God

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

 confining God

Stephen continued his speech to the Council. He laid out how, from Moses to Joshua to David to Solomon, people had continued to try to confine God. From a tent that traveled with the band of nomads to a permanent temple with rooms where God's people were not allowed to go, our vision of God grew smaller with our continued confinement of God. Stephen explained how the Council were no different, continuing to confine God to the tenets and doctrines they had conceived. 

How do you confine and attempt to control God? What boxes do you put God into that limit God's magnificence, mystery, and power?

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 7:44-53

“Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’

”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”