Summary: Freedom is purchased by great sacrifice and maintained by those who stand ready to be sacrificed. Today we owe our freedom to men and women such as these and we pause to honor them and to remember and reflect on their sacrifices both past and present.
A Soldiers Faith
This week we mark Remembrance Day as a Nation. It is a day that holds a unique significance for each of us.
For some it marks the Remembrance of a loved one who fell in service to their country or those who had been taken prisoner never to return.
For others it is a time to Remember how a loved one was able to return home from the battlefield and be united with family and friends once again.
For all of us Remembrance Day serves as a time to count the great cost of war to the victors and to the vanquished.
Freedom is purchased by great sacrifice and maintained by those who stand ready to be sacrificed.
Today we owe our freedom to men and women such as these and we pause to honor them and to remember and reflect on their sacrifices both past and present.
I would like to read to you a brief report from one Canadian Soldier on the battlefield of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: God is Moving!
Each week, more and more people attend the chapel here at Camp Julien. At first, people come for the Bible studies led by Padre Normand Cholette. Soon, they start attending the Friday night services. They are really touched and surprised by the life of these meetings. We have started to have a little revival. There are a lot of people talking about it here on Camp.
For my part, I rejoice in the presence of officers and soldiers, who not only attend the services, but also invite new members. It is very exciting to see God moving in the lives of military people and to discover a mission field that is unknown by so many Christians.
Please keep praying for us. I have the assurance that the Lord is preparing a great harvest in the Canadian Forces.
Today we want to look at an encounter that took place some 2000 years ago between Jesus and a Roman Soldier.
In turning to God’s word today we find that both Matthew and Luke recorded the event.
Matthew and Luke record different facts – Matthew records that the Centurion came to Jesus himself while Luke records that the Centurion first sent a delegation of Jewish leaders to plead his case. Both accounts can be accepted since both men remembered the event but with slightly different emphasis on the details. This is often the case when witnesses are asked to give evidence because one may remember details slightly different from the other yet they both were present at the same event. That’s why police like lots of witnesses so that as many details can be brought forward to help build a case.
The King James Bible says “5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a Centurion, beseeching him.”
That word beseeching can mean to beg earnestly or ask urgently. The point being that it is a Roman Centurion doing the beseeching.
Here an enemy of Israel a Centurion who is commander of 100 soldiers is hesitant to approach Jesus who commands only 12 men.
The NIV Bible uses the words – “8 The Centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Wow that’s quite a statement coming from a soldier who represents an occupying army.
We the readers are left to wonder how and why this Roman Centurion came to seek Jesus out.
It could have been that this Centurion was earnestly seeking after the things of God even though he was surrounded and compelled to pay homage and allegiance to the pagan god’s of Rome. As a Centurion he would have had to acknowledge Caesar as a living god. Once again we are reminded not to judge a book by its cover.
Luke tells us this Centurion had paid to build the Jewish Synagogue in Capernaum. It is obvious that this Centurion was a religious man who favored the Jews and who in turn heard about Jesus the Miracle worker.
It is possible this Centurion had been on crowd control at some other gathering where Jesus was present and that he had become a believer. We do not know how he came to faith in Christ but all we do know is that he came to a certain faith in Christ.
The life of this slave was so precious to the Centurion that he willingly humbled himself to Jesus. He gave no thought to the uniform he wore or the political animosity that he was duty bound to recognize and enforce. A life hung in the balance someone he cared a great deal about.
It is obvious that as a Soldier this Centurion knew the value of life and the separation that comes from death. Surely he had seen it and been in the company of death on many military campaigns. It was the finality that death brings that this Centurion sought to change for his servant.