Beauty in Death

Nov 5, 2021 | Writer's Blog | 0 comments

READ: Acts Chapters 6,7

LISTEN AND WATCH: Falling and Rising by Jay D. Locklear, United Adoration

Oh, how I love the smell of leaves in the fall and the beautiful colors that burst onto the scene! Deep reds, vibrant yellows, and fiery oranges fill the horizon as far as the eye can see. How ironic that most trees’ leaves are more beautiful in the fall even though they are in the throes of death! The very process that leads to their eventual end is filled with a breathtaking beauty that rivals and, in some cases, far surpasses that which they possessed in life.

In much the same way, some folks, throughout the dying process, display a deep inner radiance, rooted deeply in their certain hope of a rebirth to their intended glory. They look forward with anticipation to the time when they will be unshackled from the bonds of this cursed earth and frail shell. They are confident that they will fulfill who they were created to be in a way they never could in this earthly body, in this ever-limited construct of time.

Consider the martyr, Stephen. He was a faithful servant leader in the early church of Jerusalem, appointed by the church to oversee the distribution of food to the poor church members, widows, and children. He was a man full of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, and faith. Stephen served the church selflessly as well as performed many great wonders and signs among the people. His life reflected Jesus to all with whom he came in contact.

Because they argued with Stephen but could not stand up to his wisdom, members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen arranged for false witnesses to say that Stephen had blasphemed against both Moses and God.

While standing on trial, he gave one of the most powerful sermons ever recorded. Rather than being timid, he called them to account for their glaring disobedience, hypocrisy, and the crucifixion of Jesus, reminding them that He was God’s Son. This caused such a rage among the members of the Sanhedrin that “they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him” (Acts 7:57b-58a, New International Version). In the midst of the fury, Stephen displayed an other-worldly peace and once again, witnessed to them that Jesus was God’s exalted Son, now standing at the right hand of God in heaven. Even as they were killing him, he prayed for their forgiveness exactly as his Lord Jesus had done during His crucifixion. The grace Stephen exhibited in his death was the fulfillment of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and was a rare beauty, a powerful witness to all around him, just as his life had been.

PRAYER: Lord, please fill me with abundant grace to display Your love and power to all who look on, to lead them to You, and to give them hope. May others come to know You because of the witness of Your grace in my life, even as I prepare to meet You face to face!

~ Cathy Schrock, Writer
Jonathan Kaufman, Photographer
Jay D. Locklear, Musician and Poet

More from the blog

Shavuot Surprise

Shavuot Surprise

(The sequel to “Silent Saturday”1) It’s Shavuot! …our Feast of Weeks! …seven days of feasting to celebrate our wheat harvest! We’re also remembering the day YHWH gave Moses our Torah on Mount Sinai. …a day to remember the covenant we Jews have with our God. But this...



Waiting.We’re waiting.For what,we do not know.We’re waiting,Yes, waiting,becauseyou told us so. You said wait,then you were gone.You said wait,the light will dawn.The room was full ofsilencethat roared infear and doubt. We’re waiting.Waiting, not knowingwhat it’s...

Not So Boring After All

Not So Boring After All

Have you ever pledged to read through the Bible in one year? What happened when you reached the book of Leviticus? (Be honest, you are among friends now.) It is a book full of requirements and prescriptions. Doesn’t exactly keep you on the edge of your seat like Noah...

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stay Up To Date

Stay Up To Date

Join our email list to stay up to date on all the exciting things going on at Heartland Church

You have Successfully Subscribed!