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Posts from 2020-03-29

Sermon 29 March 2020

When we celebrate a communing service we do not focus on the last supper Jesus took with His disciples as a sacrament, but as a meal He shared with His friends. 

Being now in the season of Lent, it is the time to look to Jesus Christ and what he means, or want to mean, to each one of us.

 

Therefore, today we take a closer look how Jesus developed the relationship with His disciples as friends in the first place, and not as His worshippers or His servants.

Because Jesus calls all who want to believe in Him His friends, He opened the way of being in communion with Him.

And being in communion with Jesus Christ makes us part of God’s family.

Jesus Christ’s  offers for friendship is not only to a select group or chosen ones, but to everybody and we're all invited to be part of God's family.

 

At our Bible reading we looked to this theme of friendship and how Jesus was in communion with His friends when they were having a meal together.

In the gospel of Luke it says that Jesus eagerly desired to have this meal with His friends, so it really meant a lot to Him. And it was at this meal He had with His friends where He called them His friends.

And later on during a prayer at the table with His friends, Jesus prayed not only for His friends now at the table, but for every body else who wants to believe or trust in Jesus Christ.

 

We will look to 2 aspects of this friendship and the first is about how it opened up a relationship between God and us and secondly how it affects the relationship with each other.

 

First the relationship between God and us.

In :13 Jesus says that no one has greater love than laying down his life for his friends and in :15 that He has made known to His friends all He heard from God.

So, what is the love of Jesus?

For a better understanding of this love, we have to look first to the OT. Jesus spoke very often in reference to the OT. 

In Psalm 117 for example it says; great is God’s steadfast love towards us. 

The Hebrew word used here for love is a more a concept than only a word. Because it bears different meanings, but all with a common idea or expression. 

This type of love includes the active and social nature of God's kindness. Everything what God calls love focusses on what He does for His people, in past present and future, and in the life of the individual.

God's love promises life, care and preservation. 

His love is characterised by permanence, constancy and reliability. Therefore, God is a faithful God, Who will not fail His love for those who build their trust on Him.

The embodiment of this love is in Jesus Christ. When Jesus speaks about love, He has in mind that type of love God has for His people.  

When Jesus speaks about the love He has for His friends, as in the gospel of John, it is in reference to this steadfast love of God. 

This steadfast love of God is transferred to each one of through the ministry of Jesus Christ. And because Jesus was One of us, this steadfast love of God has become accessible for each one of us.

Secondly, we look at how we express this friendship between ourselves. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard many times the catch-phrase ‘we’re in it together’. 

We can see it in the support we give to our healthcare workers and in everybody else who keeps working for the common good. Times of need appear to lead us to unify and in times like we’re in today, we need each other’s friendship more than ever. 

The writer C.S. Lewis once said; Friendship is not necessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

 

In :12 of our reading Jesus said; This is My commandment that you love another as I have loved you.

These words becomes once the more important in times like these, when we are obliged to stay together in the same house, or perhaps remain solitarily in our own homes. 

This might be one of the easiest times, but we can put strength from the words of Christ that He will remain our friend, because He wants to remain close to us as a good Friend. Even when we don’t see or meet each other, His friendship remains and is for each one of us, when we let Him to.

Amen

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