There are all kinds of friendships and there are many levels of friendship – casual, occasional, good, close, best.
Like love, friendships sometimes have their seasons and sometimes they are lasting.
Whatever the context, friendship is, in the end, always a desire for understanding, nourishment, hope and joy.
Jesus knew the value of friendship and his close friends – a motley crew – sustained him, protected him, questioned him, supported him and prayed with him whilst he went about Gods business.
They were especially close. The kind of friendship Jesus shared with his disciples is a friendship of the heart. Friends of the heart know us – and love us -despite all of our challenges and we trust them.
Jesus reminds us of the precious nature of friends in chapter 13 of the gospel of John and shows us how God desires to be a friend also.
He shows us the mutual respect we must have for one another and the way we share and care and pray for one another.
We read about his good friends throughout the new testament – both men and women .
We all need a friend. Sometimes our friends are in our family, sometimes we meet them through life or work and sometimes we meet them when we are flung together in unusual circumstances or in a crisis.
Jesus asks us to build houses of friendship here on earth – Churches – where all people feel welcomed, accepted and valued.
WB Yeats once wrote “Friendship is the only house we have to offer”.
May we think of our church as a house of friendship.
May new friendships be formed among us, our neighbours , visitors , families and volunteers at Lefevre Connections.
Friendship is a gift from God. May we treasure our friendships old and new and may we be blessed as we serve the Lord.