Wednesday, November 20 2019
You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends...
- John 15:14-15a, NIV
I usually do not look to beer commercials on TV for inspiration, but recently I saw one that caught my attention. I really did not notice it until the very end of the commercial when it showed a few people who were obviously enjoying each other's company. It was then that the final words appeared on the screen: "A few friends are better than a thousand followers." The "thousand followers" part seemed to be directed at Twitter and those who might mistakenly think relationships are only about how many "followers" one might have. But, the picture of a few friends enjoying each other's company face-to-face, pointed to something deeper that may not be found online.
The words of Jesus from John's gospel found at the top of the page reminds us that Jesus often viewed those he encountered as his friends. Jesus even speaks of a transformation from "servants" to "friends." I think that one of the most important aspects of our Christian faith is relationships - first our relationship with God through Jesus; and secondly, our relationships with each other. Because Jesus calls us "friends" we can then become friends with one another. We need both kinds of friendships.
Recently, one of our church members was telling me that she and her husband had belonged to a number of larger congregations with thousands of members. However, she said that she and her husband had found many more friends as members of JCPC than at the larger churches they had belonged to before. Now that may seem kind of counterintuitive - if there are more people you should have more friends, right? Well, maybe it doesn't always work that way. I think one of the real gifts of a church the size of JCPC is that you don't get lost in a crowd and it may be easier to find friends. So, may God bless you with deep friendships.
Prayer for Today
Thank you, God, for calling us your friends. Help us to be faithful friends to one another as we reflect your love and grace into our world. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ, our Friend. Amen.