Sometimes, the bad news just won’t quit. After years in camps, our refugees meet another devastating hurdle. New Mexico faces scarce resources to establish a budget, and programs that benefit the “least of these” are in jeopardy. Another bike was stolen from inside our church on Sunday morning. We are called to be a people of hope, promise, life and love! Yet, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to see a hopeful way forward. Sometimes I need someone else to carry the hope for me. Our reading this Sunday provides just that.
In Luke 7:1-17 we find familiar surroundings. People are suffering. A beloved has died. Mourners gather. Hierarchies are clear. But what comes next is not so familiar. A Roman centurion, of the oppressive Roman occupiers, advocates for a slave with whom he is in a respectful relationship. He is certain Jesus can intervene. Jesus does. Jesus provides the miracle! Hallelujah! While this is incredibly beautiful news, it’s the Roman centurion that gives me hope today.
Bottom line, the centurion didn’t need a direct miracle from Jesus to do the miraculous. With the gift of faith at his core, he lived in a respectful relationship with someone over whom he could wield power. He saw the needs of others and responded. He was aware of his own power and used it for good. That gives me extraordinary hope!
With the gift of faith at my core, I have the power to choose to treat others with respect. I have the power to see the needs of others and respond. I have the gift of the Holy Spirit alive in me, and that Spirit gives me power to work for good.
So do you, my brothers and sisters!
Thanks, Roman Centurion, for the hope. I needed that.