Friendship - Friend.ology,  Part I

 

 

The Vineyard

 

How do you perceive friendship? It is Jesus who uses the analogy of the vineyard to speak on many topics in John 15 and friendship is one of them. Every friendship has a landscape—scenery, and each friendship will go through seasons. In the next few post I will meditate and mine for truth in John 15. 

 

As of recent, I hear Jesus speaking to His friends about identity and flourishing: His identity, His Father's Identity, and the identity of His friends (disciples) and their communal flourishing in Him. 

Friendship, An Eternal Perspective

 

I find it worth acknowledging that this so captures Jesus' heart in His last—intimate moments, during His last days with His disciples before His death. John has stirred me anew, especially the fifteenth chapter in regards to having friends and being a friend. As I sojourn on this friendship path, I want Jesus' eternal perspective.

 

I want to be the type of friend that loves well. I see two facets that I'll use as my reference points: relational and theological. For one, relational acts must be genuine, with no strings attached, enveloped in transparency and mutual consent. Transparency doesn't mean indiscretion (more on this matter, later); and mutual consent invites the most hospitable of conditions for me to allow someone to come close to my vulnerable places and influence my life as I reciprocate. 

 

When it comes to the theological acts, I'm pressed and pleased to look to Jesus as my point of reference, not my experiences, my preferences, or my culture. 

 

 

Jesus's Death - An Act of Friendship

 

Jesus' death is an act of friendship (John 15:13, 14). I'm so grateful Jesus longs for us to relate to Him as Friend and reassuringly the ultimate Friend, and He is the Master of Ceremony who is joyfully and intentionally hosting our friendships with others. 

 

"No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends"  (John 15:13 Amplified Bible, Love Letter Forty-Three).

 

It's significant to remember that John spent time with Jesus as His friend—they did life together. It is no coincidence in whom Jesus choose to breathe chapter fifteen's friendship-abiding truth—"the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23, Love Letter Forty-Three). 

 

John begins the first five verses of chapter 15 with Jesus setting up an undeniable premise of assurances and promises: He is the True Grapevine, His Father is the Gardener, and His friends/disciples are His branches.

 

Please pause with me to savor in these assurances and promises.

 

{Dwell on them...}

 

What's assuring to you about the promises made in the first five verses?

 

I'm overwhelmingly assured that Jesus shares clear insight into what everyone's roles are and how everyone is earnestly connected. Furthermore, He reveals why and how we can flourish (or not) in the landscape of His bold and beautiful love.

 

An Unburdening Response To Love

 

Rest first, and breathe in the quiet of listening. 

 

In one word or phrase what do you hear Love Himself saying to you? 

 

If you hear silence what emotions or thoughts have been evoked from this worship episode? 

 

Thank you for engaging in this unburdening exercise with me.

 

Links for further discovery

 

Subscribe & Listen to my Soul Care Podcasts:

Mohawkmomma Soul &  Miseducation of Mom Listen wherever you enjoy podcasts. (also available on Anchor FM)

 

Sabbath Rhythms Tracking Companion Guide

 

Part 2

 

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