The Back Page – Friends

The Back Page


Friends are among our most valued assets.
There may be nothing wrong with having Facebook “friends,” but scripture envisioned something
deeper for those we call by this name. For people who attempt to uncritically accumulate as many FB
friends as possible, Proverbs cautions, “Some ‘friends’ pretend to be friends (or “A person of too many
friends comes to ruin”), but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.” A few faithful friends or a fickle
flock—which is better?
A (true) friend loves at all times. A (true) friend will risk rattling our cage—“Faithful are the wounds
of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” What a blessing if we can say of the one God has
given us as a mate, “This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
Abraham was the friend of God. Yahweh used to speak with Moses face to face, just as a person
does with his friend. Jesus said, “A slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you
friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Jesus wanted his
eleven (and us) to be in the know, along with him, on God’s doings, so that we could consciously
participate in and contribute to those doings.
Intimate friends mold us, and we them. “He who walks with the wise shall become wise, but a
companion of fools shall suffer harm.” So choose carefully.
Even though it is wise neither to try to be close friends with everyone, nor to become bosom-buddies
too quickly, we can at least start out by being friendly. That is, we can make it our practice to be
interested, cordial, and pro-active in making the other feel welcome in our presence. We can act that way
toward our neighbors, and toward all who come through our doors at Second Cape.
Now, most of us already have close friends here at church, and it is always good to chat with them
on Sunday mornings. No need to stop any of that! But at the same time, perhaps we could keep one eye
open for anyone who is new, and break the ice with a warm, “Hi, I don’t think I know you. My name
is….” Visitors will think, “What a friendly church!” And by being friendly in this way, who knows? we
may even in time earn a few new friends.

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