This Sunday is the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost. So begins the longest of the church seasons running from now through Thanksgiving. The focus of this season is on our growth in Christian faith, so the colors of the church are, appropriately enough, green. The readings for this Sunday are: Psalm 96:1-9; 1 Kings 8:22-24,27-29,41-43; Galatians 1:1-12; and Luke 7:1-10. Luke will be the featured Gospel over the next months so let’s look there now.
The Gospel reading records Jesus’ healing a centurion’s servant. However, the center of attention here isn’t the person you’d expect – either the healed servant or Jesus! Instead it’s the centurion, a high-ranking soldier in the hated Roman army. The Romans were hated by God’s people because they were an unwanted and, at times, ruthless, occupying force in the Holy Land. That Jesus would praise the FAITH of this enemy fighter is surprising, to say the least!
What can we learn from the centurion? He approaches Jesus with both great humility and great boldness. He is humble, acknowledging his unworthiness to receive anything from Jesus. But he is also bold, trusting that Jesus has the power to heal a person simply by saying the word. What is lacking in your relationship with Jesus? Is it humility? It is boldness? Consider how a centurion’s faith would change the way you pray.