Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Roman Centurion asks for help. Relationsips. Developing a sense of responsibility: being trustworthy.

(Matt 8.5-13)
There was once a Roman soldier. In fact he wasn’t just a soldier, he was a centurion. That means he was in charge of 100 other soldiers. Every day he would gather his soldiers together and give them orders.

Choose three or four children to be the soldiers. Line them up and give them various orders – turn to the right, march towards the door, stop! Etc.

Why do you think they practiced and practiced like that?

The children responded with things like, “practice makes perfect” &” so that they knew what to do when there was a battle.” There was some very detailed response on Roman “tortoise” formations, and the importance of everyone in them playing their part.

The soldiers had to practice doing what their centurion said so that they could all work together when they were in battle to win the battle and keep each other safe. They needed to trust the centurion, that he wouldn’t ask them to do something silly, and he needed to trust them that they would follow his orders when it really mattered.

One day the centurion’s servant, who he loved very much, fell ill. The centurion couldn’t do anything to make him better, but he had heard about Jesus, so he came to see him. Jesus was busy talking to people but he listened to the centurion when he spoke to him. He was very sad to hear his servant was ill. “I will come and pray for him,” said Jesus.

But the centurion said that wouldn’t be necessary. Jesus didn’t need to come all the way to his house when he was so busy. His word would be enough. The centurion explained how he told his soldiers what to do and they did it. People set over him told him what to do and he did it. He trusted Jesus. He knew he would do what he said. His word was enough. If he said the servant would get better, that would do.

Jesus was amazed at how much faith the centurion had. He prayed there and then that the servant would get better, and when the centurion got home that was exactly what had happened.

I wonder whether we always do what we say we will, whether people feel they can trust us. I wonder who we feel we can trust and be sure of.

Think about who you trust, who you know will do what they say they will. Give thanks for them
Think about yourself, and ask God to help you be trustworthy and do what you say you will.