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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 10, 2018

Friendship in the church (2)

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Is it possible to be a member of the church for years and not have friends in the church? Yes, that's possible. There can be several reasons for this. But one of them should not be our inaction.

You don't make friends by reading a book or a few articles about friendship and then just sit around and wait for people to become your friends. We need to initiate action, following Jesus' example.

Concerning the prerequisites for friendship, last week the topic was the willingness to communicate with another person, following Jesus' example. Today's topic is again about Jesus' example concerning another aspect of friendship.

When Jesus called his disciples his friends, He emphasized this aspect: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13). With this statement Jesus certainly meant His willingness to die for His friends.

But there is also another possible viewpoint as well. What is life, if not the time we have available every day? Jesus was willing to sacrifice His time for his friends. He was with them for three and a half years. They experienced Him in many different situations, so to speak "up close". He was always aware of His responsibility to set them a good example and to prepare them for the responsibility they had to bear later, after the founding of the New Testament Church.

In short: Jesus made Himself available for his friends. He was ready to help them. Is that what we're doing? Or does friendship for us only mean that the others have to be there for us? Do we sit back passively in a "wait and see" attitude until someone approaches us?

The principle of the golden rule is important in friendship. Do we want people to be passive towards us and just wait for us to approach them and offer them our help and time? Probably not. The reverse is also true. Consider this if you think you don't have friends in the church.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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