“I am a friend…”

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Ann Landers

Meditation: “I am a friend of God” my four year old daughters liked to sing. They beamed with joy when they sang these words. Friendship means “being allowed to know”. God allowed us to know God in Jesus. At that time we became God’s friends and were no longer servants. As we allow somebody to know us, at that moment intimacy happens and initial trust is being established. A journey of vulnerability begins that has the potential to powerfully transform both persons involved. The strong God of Israel chose to become vulnerable and to live in a mutual relationship with us. At that time the hierarchical model of relating came to an end. Instead of servants that needed to respect, fear and did not know, we became God’s friends and confidants. God trusted us, though we betrayed him in the end. God became vulnerable, and yet we used God’s vulnerability to assert our power. The Easter message from last Sunday is that our sinful ways were not the very end of the story. God’s power of love resurrected Jesus. In Jesus God forgave us. He still calls us friends. Although we fail God many times, we are allowed to sing joyfully.

Prayer: God, You chose us to be Your friends. You did not have to do this. When we let You down, insulted and betrayed You, You could have rightly ended Your relationship with us. But You did not. Jesus prayed: “forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. He appealed to God’s mercy and forgiveness on behalf of us who horribly betray God every day. God chooses to keep the friendship door open. God knows our shortcomings and our brokenness. We are humbled, touched and deeply grateful. Gracious God, there is no greater honor than being called Your friends. Amen

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. John 15:15

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