The Centurion CHALLENGE
As we read the scriptures ahead of the beginning to 118th US Congress, we are again struck by the accounts of the Centurions and a consistent theme revealed to us back at the start of the 116th Congress (4-years ago). The Roman Officers described were all men Under Authority, Men In Authority, Who Recognized The Authority Of Jesus, and, critically, who took DECISIVE ACTION TO STEP INTO THAT AUTHORITY.
The Centurion we hear about in the scriptures, in Matthew 8 and Luke 7, having initially sent for Jesus, stopped him coming into his home to heal his staff member as he suddenly overcome with the sense that he was unworthy to receive Him. The Centurion knew Jesus could heal his colleague without darkening his door. Even Jesus was amazed by this great faith and responded positively.
Another Centurion, who was tasked with policing the crucifixion of Jesus, having seen the way that Jesus endured this brutal execution told his superiors, "Surely this was the son of God."
Elsewhere in the scriptures, in the Book of Acts, we meet two more Centurions - Cornelius and Julius - who interact with Peter and Paul respectively.
Cornelius offers an object lesson in unquestioning obedience, when he responds to a visit by the Angel of God who issued a challenge. The detailed account tells us that without hesitation Cornelius acted, sending his staff to go and fetch Peter. Strikingly, in expectation of Peter's arrival, Cornelius - a high ranking Roman Officer - filled his home with people from all backgrounds to come and hear about Jesus. It was a faithful and obedient action, in accordance with God's plan to release Peter and thereby to tell the world that Jesus is for everyone - irrespective of social standing, religious tradition, culture, color, or political ideology.
How does this relate to the United States Congress and to leaders in parliaments around the world? God calls us to challenge our leaders to recognize the authority of Jesus over their lives and to step into that authority. With around 100 new Members on Capitol Hill the timing of this initiative is critical. We are systematically challenging Members -"Who has the Lord put on your heart on the other side of the aisle?"
When pressed, a name is typically offered up. We go further, to encourage the Member to approach that person and to introduce Jesus into that relationship. We offer to meet with these Centurion Groups - twos and threes - and to go deeper in relationship with Jesus and one another.
It is a CHALLENGE in every respect. The caustic political environment that we are enduring makes it difficult for Members to be seen to be making relationships across the aisle. It is a challenge because the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. We need to redouble our efforts and devote more time and make ourselves available.
But first and foremost it is a Challenge, because those are the marching orders that we have been called to deliver - inviting men and women in leadership to step uncomfortably out of their comfort-zone for Jesus.
If you would like to learn more about this initiative and how you can best support us please call us: +1 (202) 550-2120