Friends not Servants (28-10-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 67:5-7
May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.
The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Bible Reading: John 15:12-17
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, for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Friendships are important. We all need people with whom we can relax and unwind, people with whom we can share our thoughts and concerns, people who will help us share the load and people who will pick us up when we fall down. But good friendships are mutual, not just to be supported by someone else, but also to be there to support them.
Given that true friendships are mutual, I find it amazing that Jesus, the Son of God, says to each of his followers, ‘I have called you friends’.
When I think about it, I know what I am looking for in a true friend, and I know what I am offering other people in way of friendship. I can also think about what I might expect to receive from Jesus as a friend, things like love, forgiveness, encouragement and wisdom. But what can I offer Jesus in terms of friendship? What is he looking for from me?
Imagine for a moment what it is that you offer in friendship to a good friend.
How might that translate into what you might offer to Jesus as one of his friends.
It is said you can’t choose your relatives but you can choose your friends. But it is difficult when people choose not to be friends with you. Friendships for children can be quite fraught as they fall in and out with each other, and it is hard when a child is excluded because the ‘leader of the pack’ doesn’t think they fit in.
The amazing thing about friendship with Jesus is that he has chosen you and me to be his friends. ‘You did not choose me’ he says, ‘but I chose you.’ We tend to think that we have to choose to be a follower of Jesus, and that is true. But behind and before our choice, it seems that Jesus has chosen you and me.
Whether it is about choosing friends in the playground, work colleagues, life-long partners or just someone to chew the fat with, Jesus has chosen you. I wonder how you respond to that.
Lord Jesus, I stand amazed that you have chosen me.
Help me to discover more about what it means to be a friend of Jesus Amen
I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus