Devotion for May 4, 2021
“I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15)
For a moment, think about your best friend.
I met David shortly after his family joined our church when I was twelve years old. From the moment we met, we “clicked” as friends. We shared a love for the Dodgers. We spent the night at one another’s houses. We played games, from chess in the beginning (where I mostly won) to Atari games when we were older (where he mostly won). We went to the movies. We played tennis. We acted as disc jockeys, recording music in his room.
As we grew older, we would argue and fight sometimes, but we worked it out. When I moved away for college and work, we would still keep in contact, making sure to connect whenever I made it back home. I was the best man at both his weddings. He was the best man at ours. We are the godparents for his oldest. Our families still get together on our annual trek to California.
We know each other for who we are. We accept one another as we are: our faults, our shortcomings, our strengths, our successes. No matter how much time has passed since our last conversation, the closeness and friendship only has deepened and grown over the last forty years.
Now, think about this incredible statement from Jesus: Jesus calls us “friend.” As we consider all the best qualities of our friends – as I consider all the best qualities of David as friend – Jesus promises the same relationship and even more. For Jesus knows us and accepts us for who we are. When we struggle, Jesus is there for us, patiently waiting with open arms.
Jesus invites us to see this powerful relationship between us and to grow into that relationship, just as the relationship between David and me has grown. It is not a relationship based on duty or obligation. It is a relationship founded on equality, compassion, trust, acceptance, and love.
May we continue to grow into that love.