arguments over Scriptures held the same power and importance as the way they dressed, the rituals they followed for prayer and for eating. All of this was intended to divide. To separate them from the rest. Either a person was part of their exclusive group or he was an outcast. Others might call themselves Judeans. They might consider themselves the Chosen, the followers of the One True God. But if politics or habits or interpretation of the Holy Book did not follow that of the Pharisees, they were doomed.

Ananias had come with money from the sale of property. He had presented it to Peter, claiming it to be the full amount of the sale. Instead of praising him, Peter had condemned him. Not for his generosity, which was commendable, but for his lie. “The land was yours,

We must not fail to give our full attention to the spreading of the Good News and to prayer. But we must also care for those who are in need. That, too, is God’s commandment to us. We must be careful not to neglect that task. “I have spent the afternoon in prayer, as have other apostles, and now we are ready to act. We would like you to select seven men-men who are full of the Spirit and wisdom-and we will turn this responsibility over to them.

Stephen remained untouched. Instead, the illumination surrounding him strengthened further, as though all light in the chamber was drawn to this one man. Stephen lifted his face toward the chamber’s ceiling and cried, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!

1 2 3 5