Although having stepped back from my role as a church minister for a period, I haven’t stepped back from what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
That is the single most important thing that will matter for us all when this life is over – could we be counted among those who are friends with Jesus Christ?
Jesus says of those who trust Him: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business but instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you.” (Jn 15: 15).
Why does friendship matter so much to us? Why do some people try to have as many friends as possible on things like facebook?
Well, the reason that friendship matters so much to us is because we were made for relationship, with our Creator firstly, and then with each other.
I have had the opportunity recently to start up a friendship club in the Buckhaven Community Centre. We meet once a week on a Thursday for an hour at 3.30 p.m.
It is the opportunity to meet up with like-minded people, drink tea/coffee (eat loads of biscuits), and have a blether.
It is proving popular, and needed.
Why? Because it is serving a purpose that we were all created for, to enjoy the company of others.
The greatest relationship we can have in this life and the life to come is with God the Father, through Jesus the Saviour.
And if we are willing to admit our sin and rebellion against God, by accepting Jesus as our own and personal Saviour, then we can be friends with Him now and forever!
One of the reasons I started the friendship club was because of loneliness. I had been looking around for something to join but couldn’t find anything that suited.
When I prayed about it, I soon got my answer: “Why not start your own club?” So I did.
True friendship can be hard to find, but that should never prevent us from seeking it out.
Henri Nouwen said: “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness – that is a friend who cares.”
But the most important words we will ever hear are those of Jesus, “...instead I have called you friends.”