Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tray Remembers Grady

Good morning, 

I just found your page when looking for an old sermon that I heard Grady tell at youth camp where Perry and Toby served growing up. I was a camper at the time…probably 14-15 years old. This story is one that I've remembered all these years later. I found “Jesus and the 2nd Mile” on your site and it was even better than I recalled. 
I was asked in an interview “what was my favorite memory” while at Laity Lodge Youth Camp…and here was my reply;
I guess the one story that I remember the best is one night at Round Up, we had the Reverend Grady Nutt from Hee Haw fame (if there was such a thing) sharing with us. He told the story of the Roman Centurion who had met Jesus as a young boy. (This is not a recorded biblical story, because it would have happened when Jesus was in his teens.) But he shared that Jews were required to carry the heavy packs of Centurions (enemies of the Jews) as they made their way through Jerusalem…and by Roman law they were required to carry the packs to a post outside of town. There were actual posts one mile outside of town in all directions. And any young defiant Jew would start to loosen the pack as he approached the mile marker…and the Centurion would ready himself to catch the pack as the young Jew would drop the pack and run back to town. But Jesus didn’t do this. He kept carrying the pack…talking and engaging this Centurion all the while. Finally….as Jesus had carried the pack at least twice the normal requirement….he told the Centurion that he had really better get back to his parents. It was getting dark and they would be worried. Rev. Nutt made the connection that this is known as “going the extra mile” and teaching us how to love our enemies.

He went on to say….that later as Jesus was hanging on the cross, being punished for sins he didn’t commit, dying a death that we deserve….he looked down to see his old friend. And the Centurion who had walked with Jesus years earlier, looked up as Jesus breathed his last breath and said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God!”. 

Just wanted you to know that I indeed do remember Grady Toby and Perry. Honestly, I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) that Grady died in a plane crash soon after sharing this sermon with a bunch of teens at a camp in the Hill Country of Texas. But this story is one that I definitely remember and has had an impact on me. 

Bless you for keeping up this site … and I pray that this finds you in good health and that God continues to bless you and yours. 
Tray Pruet,Austin New Church