A Centurion Reflects
"Between the cross-beam and the upright timber
I have seen many suffer mortal pain
- Jews, being Jews, are such a fractious people:
they rise and are suppressed and rise again
And Galileans? Don't mention Galileans!
They're trouble spelled out with a capital T,
and listening to those other fellows up there
we weren't surprised to hear them disagree.
'Just hark at them!' said young Brabantius
(he only joined our legion here last spring),
'The way they carry on, it's little wonder
they ended up with Herod for a king!'
But that fellow in the middle of the triptych,
you couldn't help but think Him different,
and I recall how, at Capernaum,
a centurion without embarrassment
declared that this same Jesus healed his servant
who was suffering from the palsy. Now, to find
Him offering His own life as an oblation
to a Heavenly Father, crosswise, haunts my mind.
Here was obedience, matched with righteousness
and held aloft for all mankind to see
- and Glory be to God that I was present
as a Roman witness to this mystery!"
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 3 (April 2005), p. 18