Daily Reflection
September 18th, 2000
by
Lori Spanbauer
Campus Ministry
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First Corinthians 11:17-26, 33
Psalms 40:7-10, 17
Luke 7:1-10

What does it take to have the faith and humility of the centurion?  How do we get there?  How do we make the journey from the selfishness and indulgence of the church in Corinth to the humility and faith shown to us in Luke?  Because, Iím sure, each of us has been in both places. 

The readings today remind me that one way to renew my faith is through being a sacramental person.  We see in 1 Corinthians that Paul had to repeat the account of the Lordís supper to the Church there, the sacrament of the Lordís Supper was being distorted.  On the other hand, how sacramental the exchange between Jesus and the centurion!

The word ďsacramentĒ is a non-biblical word used to describe something that may be loosely or strictly biblical.  It comes from the Latin sacramentum- a military oath of allegiance taken by a soldier, an oath that bound him to his mission, his post, his commander, etc.  We tend to know what sacraments are, especially in our church, and what they mean, but if we look again, we can again find some power behind this word.  If we look back and around us, we can see all the oaths of allegiance through which God has shown faithfulness to us- in the boat that Noah built, in the rainbow, in the bush that Moses saw burning, in the Wall in Jerusalem, in the change of seasons, and in every new morning.  Even in bread and wine and water, and in frail human commitment, both in todayís reading from Paul.  God is faithful to us even when we donít get it right.  God sends us a Paul to get us back on track because we have wandered, and God shows us the faith of a centurion.  All of these moments where God once again pledges allegiance to us.

We say there are seven sacraments, and indeed there are in our church.  But, maybe there are really countless sacraments- countless oaths of Godís allegiance.  Where have you experienced them?  I pray we see the faithfulness of God in everything God has made.  I hope this faithfulness of God spurs us all on to renew our faith and know, too, that we become sacramental to those around us who God loves passionately.  Maybe that is what Paul was trying to say.  And maybe that is what the centurion already knew.
 

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