Public Domain - Friendship by Petrona Viera (1895-1960)
"... I have called you friends ..." - John 15:15
Barely have we comprehended what it means to be servants, much less children of God, when Jesus rocks our understanding at its very foundations and calls us His friends. Friends of Jesus we are, for whom He showed the greatest love by laying down His life.
With that is the implication that we are willing to lay down our lives, obey His commands, and share in His purposes.
Chief among these is that we love one another.
It has been the sad duty of some to go through the motions of worship in a loveless church, even a church filled with animosity and vengeful attitudes. Such is not the case in this place, but as loving as we are to one another, are we truly being made complete in that love and selflessness to which Christ called us?
On a typical Sunday, we gather to worship and sing God’s praise. When we sing, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” we remember that our love relationship with God is based upon His rock-solid truthfulness and unrelenting grace.
When we sing about what it means to gather in the Name of Jesus and experience the Spirit's power within us, we will, in love, declare the majesty of God and be reminded that we are one body in the Spirit, in praise, and in service.
When we ask God to open our eyes in a new way to see Jesus, our friend, savior, and Lord, we also confess that people need the Lord and remember that a love relationship with God that brings about a love relationship with each other, teaches us to love a lost world that Jesus loved and died for - friends who have never met Him.
Finally, we will be dismissed with the affirmation that we are one in the bond of love.
Jesus is our friend who has called us to befriend one another. We are a circle of friends.