“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate. “
– Linda Grayson
On my drive in to work this morning I was recalling a Sunday lunch in 1972 I had with two of my college friends, Sam & Doug. We had gone to church services and afterwards we went back to the campus for lunch. The school cafeteria had two dishes that were absolutely wonderful. The first was warm Buttered Yeast Rolls. I gained 15 pounds my freshman year eating those rolls. The other was Southern Style Double Crusted Deep Fried Chicken. It was hot, juicy, and perfectly seasoned and they always served it on Sundays. Sam went through the line first, then Doug, and then me. For whatever reason, we were late getting to the dining hall and Sam, to his great delight, ended up getting the very last piece of fried chicken. Doug couldn’t contain his disappointment and he wailed like a big baby and then whimpered a bit like a puppy. Sam just laughed. I can’t recall what Doug & I got, I just know, it wasn’t chicken. We all sat down at our table and bowed our heads and prayed silently. While we were praying Sam quickly; and oh so quietly exchanged his tray for Doug’s. When Doug opened his eyes Sam proudly declared, “Today, your prayers have been answered.” It was funny and it was in every way, what made us friends.
Part of being and having friends is being aware of someone else’s needs. What sacrifices do we make for our friends? Do we put their needs before or equal to ours? Jesus told His followers, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” What a humbling privilege it is to know that the Creator of Heaven and Earth would suffer and lay down His life for us. Over the next several weeks as we approach the Passover, our focus will be directed to the passion and crucifixion of Christ. He was willing to lay down His life for those He calls friends. Sir Isaac Watts penned the words to a beautiful song, “See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?”
Regardless of what you may feel or think or that the world may tell you, you have a wonderful friend. A friend who was willing to exchange His life to save yours. You are never alone, and He will satisfy your greatest needs.
May the love of Christ be yours abundantly,
Pastor John (PJ)