Called to be Friends

Yesterday morning, Jim and I had a delightful time meeting with Rev. Claude King, the incoming Senior Pastor of DGFUMC. We went out for lunch afterward, walking to a restaurant downtown.

I noticed one of our church members at a table we passed on our way to being seated. She was listening so intently to the friend at her table that I decided not to interrupt to say hello.

But awhile later, when her lunch was over, she hurried to our table and eagerly asked me, as she nodded toward Rev. King, "Is this our new pastor?" Her excitement and joy as the introductions were made, and brief moments of conversation shared, were an extra gift in the day for him and for me, too.

She had given me, in that brief time, a glimpse of genuine friendship - a friendship that cares and puts the other first by true listening; and a friendship that takes the first step forward to welcome another, as she had with Rev. King.

These are simple, everyday things that all of us choose to do again and again. But, such simple things can have a powerful impact in our world.

Maybe that's part of the reason Jesus' final words of teaching to his followers, in John 15, include "I no longer call you servants...instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15)

This Sunday, we'll reflect on how this word of Christ speaks to us, and to our world, as we are "called to be friends."

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