Why Friendship?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Who are you taking with you?” Len Sweet begins his book “11” with that question. The real meaning of life is, relationships for the journey. I believe that quite firmly. It is not about arriving somewhere. We crave comrades and pals as travelling companions. The key question Sweet raises on the inside dust jacket of his book is “Who are you taking with you on the journey toward your destination?” To begin one’s teaching with a question is an act of brilliance. The church has been guilty of many things over the years, and one is giving the answer to questions people have not yet asked.

1 Samuel 18 is the story of two men who were soul brothers. “…the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David…” (1Samuel 18:1) Friendship is integral to life, but it is also problematic. Have you ever been hurt by another whom you trusted? Those whom we allow to get closest are the ones who have the most potential to harm us. When I have been hurt the deepest, it has been by those closest to me. So, why do we want to get close to anyone, if the relationship gives them more power to hurt us? Why friendship?

We are each frail, literally dead, without relationships. We cannot live physically, emotionally, or spiritually without the relationships we have with the brothers and sisters Jesus has blessed us with. It has been a great joy to go to Nicaragua with my wife and three children. They are better than family, they are four of my best friends. As we have entered into the vulnerabilities of the third world, had each other’s back, and encouraged each other, I have been reminded of “why friendship?” I need others. It is the others whom God uses to make me whole.

Going to Nicaragua reminds me that I am “surrounded by friends”(Hebrews 12:1) here at home, work, school, the store and at play. God was also found hanging out waiting for me in another hemisphere. The vision of our trip was that God might use a new world view to change the perspective of each of us. A fresh lense reminds you that God loves you, those nearby and those faraway. So when I ask “why friendship?” God can say so that I can offer you grace and mercy to be the healing ointment and joy-filled glue that bonds you to one another.

“Why friendship,” because I am relationally surrounding you! We are each surrounded by a cloud of friends (Witnesses), seen and unseen, whom God uses to remind us of thy Holy Presence.

We’ll see you on Sunday with tales of southern hemisphere friends who surround.

Pastor David J. Jensen

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