It seems like a strange time to talk about friendship. Yet friends, who have been transformed by Jesus, the perfect friend who sticks closer than a brother, are sorely needed. I came across this beautiful article that illustrates they way friendships are forged. It requires intentionality and time. Habits that bind us together.
For several years, Andy Gullahorn and his friend Gabe, determined once a week to walk a mile to give each other a high five. Fast forward to October 2020, Gabe comes down with an illness that affects his short term memory. Andy, who is there for him in the hospital, asks him for a high five, and the habit triggered his body remembering the friendship. Gabe unconsciously added a snap to his high five, not even remembering why he did that.
I know we are spread out, scattered, and solitary these days. But as we pray for a return to normal, let’s also continue to look for ways to be intentional in forming deep Christian friendships. We are placed in a local church to follow Jesus together. Consider these highlights from the New Testament:
We bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2).
We are to comfort one another with the comfort we have received from Jesus (2 Corinthians 1).
We need others to help us understand the riches of the full understanding of the gospel (Colossians 2:2).
We need others to exhort us daily – that is preach the gospel to one another, because sin is deceitful. (Hebrews 3:12-15) Friends call us out on our un-Christ-like stubbornness.
The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to stir one another up to love, and do good works (Hebrews 10:25).
The Christian life is meant to be lived together, in deep friendships (Sermon on Friendship in Proverbs) So my prayer for us this year, as that God would use our habits to knit us together in the love of Christ. These days, friendship can begin with a phone call or even Zoom. May we grow in our intentionality and habits, in following Jesus together in 2021!
Saturday – Mike Mailloux’s Memorial Service – Details to Follow
Sunday – Daniel 9 – I wanted to send you this week’s reflection ahead of time. Daniel was a man of prayer. He shows us how to pray God’s promises that he found in the Scriptures. Listen to how one pastor applies this to us today:
“…in the midst of trials and difficulties…when you barely know how to pray…take a leaf out of Daniel’s book and search the Scriptures so that [you] can pray for the things that God has clearly promised! For example, God has promised to complete the good work He began in us (Philippians 1:6). Thus, in the midst of [your] trials, you can pray that God will use these trials to further His work in [your] heart and life, humbling you and breaking your pride, showing you how desperately you need him in your weakness and sinfulness!....
The Lord has promised to be your shepherd and to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with you (Psalm 23). Therefore, you can pray that He will watch over your soul and hold your hand in the blackest hour of the night!...” ~Ian Duguid
See you Sunday! Grace and peace,