Today reminds me that one should never use the Scriptures to test the Truth, only to spread it.
The need to service is great, the openness to it depends upon the willingness to die to self and live for Christ. The Scriptures are very direct on Stephen's vocation. He was obviously in place and ready to go when the call came.
The Church has always taught the two sides of charity: spiritual and physical. Stephen, 'filled with Spirit' readily rolled up his sleeves to do the physical work that needed to be done - even to death.
When I challenged God to show me the way He used my weakness to point to the Scriptures that told me to serve. Stephen is that example: deacon, teacher, evangelist. I have since poorly sought to live my life by his example - and the example of so many other saints - even to death.
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.
-- Acts 6:2b-6, 8-10