This is a sermonette I will be delivering to the Parkrose Nursing Home Adelaide tomorrow morning.
Lesley will be playing the piano.
I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS- 29/4/12 PARKROSE VILLAGE
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
One of the beautiful things in life is to be able to call someone your friend and to be a friend to someone else.
Most of us are blessed with 2 or 3 good friends.
Some we have known since childhood , some have become so in the different stages of life.
People we meet through employment, sport, schools, Church and other means of socialising.
Some of us of course, as we get older, lose some of our friends as they pass on or become infirm to the point we can no longer communicate.
A current trend is for younger people to have contact with lots of people through their computers and many people get emails and are asked if they can become someone's friend on “facebook”.
Only a small handful of such people may really be what you would call close friends.
The fact that so many people are caught up in these computer networks and want to be called someone’s friend is in my opinion a cry from lonely hearts: a cry
to be acknowledged
to be noticed,
to be loved.
So what is a friend?
Here are some of my ideas:
Someone who supports you unconditionally whether you are well behaved or not.
Someone who will provide you an unjudgmental and genuine listening ear.
Someone who might possibly help you financially or materially when you are in crisis.
Who will do this without being asked, as they are sensitive and in tune to your needs.
Someone who might also be able to gently and lovingly help you correct a bad attitude or behaviour.
An a real friend of the highest caliber might die for you.
Listen to this story from a book I have called “Christ in the Silence” by C.F. Andrews
It seems a fitting story also as we have just remembered this week the fallen ANZAC soldiers.
“The story is told of two soldiers in France during the First World War who had become dear comrades in the trenches.
One of them after an unsuccessful night sortie, was found to be missing.
Then a cry was heard from no man’s land.
His comrade recognised his friends voice.
He eagerly asked his commanding officer if he might go out and bring his friend in.
“You can go,” said the officer,”but it’s not worth it! Your friend is probably dead by this time, and you will throw your life away.”
The young soldier did not wait for a moment. He went out at once and brought his friend back.
When he reached the safety of the trenches at last, his friend was found to be dead and he himself was mortally wounded.
He turned towards the officer with joy: “Sir it was worth it!
When I reached him he looked up and said to me .
“I knew you’d come!”.
The writer of the book goes on to say “This surely is the measure of the “greater love” which reveals to us the heart of Christ Himself.
For we were out there in “no man’s land”, and He came.
He died to bring us back,
We were “worth it” to Him, because we were His friends.”
Lesley and I have close friends, some in our family ranks and some outside of them.
We value them all and also those who we might not be as close as we would like to be.
Some friends we might meet up with after many years of non contact but the mark of that friendship is that it just seems that we can pick up our conversation and relationship almost exactly where we left off even 20 years ago.
We hear of the term “fair weather friends”.
A true friend is never a “fair weather friend”.
Jesus is our friend through thick and thin.
Even if you had no other earthly friend Jesus is your friend here and now and longs to walk and talk with you.
He longs to share His love with you through His word ,The Living Bible.
He longs to comfort you in times of great sorrow and need and illness.
Others may fail you but He will not if you put your trust in Him.
What a friend we have in Jesus.