The world is wilder in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright.  We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Annie Dillard, in Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek

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Do you recall the story in the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 7) where the Roman Centurion hears of Jesus and sends Jewish elders to ask Jesus to come to “save the life of his slave?”

Well, the elders approach Jesus and urge him to come to the Centurion to save the slave and they argue that the Centurion deserves this because “he loves our nation, and he built the synagogue for us.”

Jesus went with them to the Centurion’s home but when he was a short distance from the home, the Centurion sent his friends to tell Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof … I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.”

This amazed Jesus and He said, ” … not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

When the messengers returned to the Centurion’s home they found the slave restored to good health.

The Centurion heard of Jesus.  To hear is to listen, to receive.  Do you listen?  Do you receive?

How did he hear so well, listen so intently?  How did he have this predicate to receive?

The Centurion knew the world was wild in all directions.  Knowing this, he heard and he listened and he received.  He knew it to be bitter and dangerous, extravagant and bright. In this, he heard, and listened, and received; he experienced life.  This led him to Christ.  It is our predicate as it was his.

How about you?  Do you listen?  Hear?  Receive?  Experience?  Seek Christ? Rely on Him? Grow in humility and in reverence, gratitude, belief, become whole, certain, fearless?

Make hay, or make whoopee?  Raise tomatoes, or raise Lazarus?

It’s on you, Friend.

Shalom.

Tomorrow: Exploring the Centurion.

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