The Lessons for this coming Sunday include the story of Stephen, a young man chosen by the Apostles as a prototype for the later office of deacon. A convincing preacher, he crossed verbal swords with the religious authorities, and was stoned outside the walls of Jerusalem. In imitation of Jesus he prayed as he died that his attackers would be forgiven.
What bothers me is that many of us today would be throwing the stones as opposed to being the one stoned. I include myself. Even though I know better, I am too often quick to judge. I think I am not alone in this. We attack people and ideas that threaten us and do so at a very visceral level. Common sense and common decency would tell us that we might do well to set aside mindless fear of "the other" every now and then, in order that we might begin to see some common understanding replacing that fear.
We are, as it were, all in this leaky boat together. It might be nice, for a change, to trust each other enough to let someone else row while we take a nap. As it is now, most of us sleep with one eye open. Makes for a long night let me tell you.