Monday, November 14, 2005

A Centurion

Today's reflection is from Luke, 7: 1-10

When he had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, "He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us." And Jesus went with them, but hwne he was only a short distance form the hosue, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord do not trouble yoruself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

All are subject to authority - even our own if we owe fealty to no other. Do you have courage enough to accept the laws, guidance, teachings, rules, and direction of your authority? Do you have wisdom enough to lay aside your own will, limited knowledge and experience to say 'yes' and obey?

This point is the crux of faith; it is hard to lay down one's ego and pride and humbly follow another. I argue that true faith is not presence and awareness of one's self amidst a greater being or power, but its absence in favor of selfless devotion to the same authority. This sacrificial love is so strong that it makes all things possible - even in word alone.

For our word is our action, and what we say is the manifestation of our beliefs and our intentions. Wicked, black hearts will spin deceit and fraud; sacrificial hearts ask seek worthiness, and give all to those they love with complete faith.