Danny bounced onto the couch next to his mom. “I want to hear more about Roman soldiers.”
His sister Becky curled up on the couch on their mom’s other side. Their mom spread a blanket over all of them. “Let’s see. Last time we talked about the Roman soldier. This time we’re going to talk about the Roman army and its leaders. A Roman army was called a legion, and each legion was made up of 60 centuries, which were led by a centurion.”
“There are a lot of centurions in the Bible.” Danny rubbed his nose. He remembered talking about them in catechism. “Didn’t they command a hundred men or something like that?”
His mother smiled. “Yes, they did at first. But at the time Paul wrote to the Ephesians, the Roman emperor had changed the structure of the army so a centurion actually only commanded 80 men. But he was still called a centurion.”
“That’s confusing.” Becky scowled.
“An army is only as good as its captain or leader. A captain is the one who makes all the decisions and leads his army into battle. If the captain makes a mistake, the whole army fails. Sometimes, a bad decision by centurions or legates got the whole legion into trouble.”
“That wouldn’t be good.” Danny said. Getting into trouble was never a good thing.
“As Christians, we can be thankful that our captain is Christ. He never fails or makes mistakes. He was born and lived on this earth so that he could become our captain.” Their mom flipped opened her Bible. “Paul writes to the Christians in Rome that we are more than conquerors in Christ. That’s a lot to say to a people who at that time had conquered most of the known world. But we have something that the Roman armies didn’t have.”
“What’s that?” Danny couldn’t think of anything. The Roman armies had cool swords and armor and stuff.
“The Roman armies won a lot of battles, but they also lost a lot of battles too. When they marched into battle, they never knew if they’d win. And eventually their empire crumbled.” Their mom wrapped an arm around each of them. “But in Christ, we already have the victory over sin and Satan. Christ won the battle when he died on the cross and rose again. And his empire will never crumble.”
Questions to think about:
- Read Hebrews 2:10, 12:1–4 and Romans 8:37 by yourself or with your parents. How is Christ our captain? What comfort does this bring?
- How is Christmas connected to Christ being our captain?