November 22 Reflections

How many friends do you have on Facebook? This question is hard to answer, because if your only connection to someone is on Facebook it is hard to imagine that this could be called friendship, yet so many do. A person thinks that because they have 500 friends and you only have 20 on Facebook, they have more friends than you do. When those 498 of those 500 might have very little connection with that person other than Facebook. While the one with only 20 has a deep connection outside of Facebook with those people and they could truly be called friends. I think there are Facebook friends and true friends in real life; two very different things. A friend is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a strong form of interpersonal bond between two people.

On Facebook if someone wants to be your “friend” or you want to be someone’s friend; a friend request is sent. You always have a choice. You can respond yes, or you can simply let it sit or delete it from your account. The ultimate friend request comes from Jesus. “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” (Revelation 3:20…The Message) Jesus desires to be your friend. In the time when Jesus lived the invitation to have supper at someone’s house was an invitation for friendship. It was not the “let’s grab lunch sometime” casual invitation. The invitation for friendship was a sacred moment. Jesus is telling us that is the way it is for you and me. Jesus is saying I want to be your friend. I desire to enter that personal relationship of friendship where we share our lives with one another. The old hymn says it so well, “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer.” (What a Friend We Have in Jesus)

There are times in my shame that the idea of Jesus as a friend seems too chummy…buddy buddy. How could God really want to be my friend? I can sink into Savior…Lord…Christ…Messiah…Son of God. All exalted names for Jesus, but friend feels intimate, close, and relational. Yet Jesus makes the point in scripture that he no longer calls us servants, he calls us friends. In fact, he wants to be our friend. Because after all is not a true friend, someone who knows everything about us and still loves us…accepts us. Jesus knows everything about us and still loves and accepts us. And wants to be our friend. We are going to think about that on Sunday as we finish “Life Basics with Jesus” by thinking together about, “I Am a Friend of Jesus.” Some scripture to possibly read: John 15:9-17; Revelation 3:20; Proverbs 18:24.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn