Our daily reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of the chapters from that day's readings. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.
Acts 6 is a story of conflict. As ever, the Bible is entirely realistic about human nature. Even in those early, heady days, believers fell out. The leaders in the new Church – the Apostles – spoke Aramaic. But in Jerusalem there were many Jews from all over the Roman Empire who spoke Greek. It was hard to make sure both groups were treated equally, but right at the beginning of the Church we can see a concern for justice.
'It's not fair' was the cry of one group. 'It's not right' was the cry of another. While some accepted the message of the Apostles, others did not. Out-argued by Stephen and overwhelmed by the 'great wonders and signs' he performed, they resorted to making up the kind of story that would get him into serious trouble.
Stephen's character meant that he was trusted to keep the peace between quarrelsome groups of people. He must have been patient, sympathetic and willing to listen. But he also knew when to hold firm in the face of accusations he must have known were very dangerous.
Very often, conflict shows us how strong we really are. Sometimes we might need to bend and compromise. At other times there's no room for negotiation.