MASCOT: CENTURIONS Verse: Matthew 8:5-13
The Faith of the Centurion
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. NIV Bible translation
LOGO: WREATHED CHI RHO
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram (a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbol). It is formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters chi and rho (ΧΡ) of the Greek word “ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ” = Christ in such a way to produce the monogram. Although not technically a Christian cross, the Chi-Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as symbolising his status as the Christ. The Chi-Rho symbol was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I as part of a military standard.
According to Lactantius, a Latin historian of North African origins, in the Battle of Milvian Bridge 312 AD, legend holds that Constantine I saw this symbol in the sky along with his entire army and that night had a dream which told him to put a “heavenly divine symbol” on the shields of his soldiers. Should he carry this sign into battle, he would be victorious, In Hoc Signo Vinces – “In this sign, you will conquer.” Constantine’s highly outnumbered army won the battle and the Roman Emperor Maxentius drowned in the Tiber River. The battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and his impact as the first Christian emperor in spreading Christianity throughout the Western World.
The use of a wreath around the Chi-Rho symbolizes the victory of the Resurrection over death, and is an early visual representation of the connection between the Crucifixion of Jesus and his triumphal resurrection. In the wreathed Chi-Rho, the death and resurrection of Christ are shown as inseparable.
The use of the symbol on the Roman standard, conveyed another victory, namely that of the Christian faith: the Roman soldiers who had once arrested Jesus and marched him to Calvary now walked under the banner of a resurrected Christ.
In Hoc Signo Vinces picture courtesy of www.quazoo.com