Photo: Andres Nieto Porras
Today’s Word: FRIEND
Today’s Time of Stillness: 6 Minutes
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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 15:13-15
It’s not the kind of lunch you expect to be served in a ballroom filled with 800 women dressed up for the holidays. A peanut and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, and a small bottle of water packaged together in a brown paper box.
But the Good Friends Luncheon has never been about the food, other than its intentional simplicity serving to remind all of us who partake of the scarcity that others know all too well. A note in the program, in fact, encourages all uneaten lunches to be left in the middle of the table so they can be taken to the local soup kitchen later in the day.
The Good Friends Luncheon is about one friend helping another friend – even if those two friends never meet. Guests at last year’s luncheon stuffed $90,000 in checks and change into small black kettles carried by twelve Santas with jingling sleigh bells making their way around the ballroom. Over the course of 2018, those funds helped people who had no where else to turn to recover from Hurricane Florence, to escape abusive situations, to begin again after years of addiction, to get a driver’s license or tools or clothes so they could get to work.
The writer of Ecclesiastes, in speaking of friendship, reminds us that two are better than one. “When one falls down the other is there to help them get up.”
We all need a friend to help us up, not if, but when, we fall.
Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. – Woodrow T. Wilson
One of the most amazing truths of Scripture is that Jesus calls us ‘friend.’ He is the safety net when we fall and the bridge when we don’t know how to get from where we are to where we need to be. He loves us more than he loved his own life.
He is The Good Friend; the good friend who calls us to be good friends, too.
As you sit in stillness today, be filled with gratitude for the good friends who have walked beside you; the friends who have lifted you up, helped you out, and cheered you on. See their faces like ornaments on a beautiful Christmas tree.
And as you are still, allow God to create space in you – in your heart, in your calendar – for the good friend that he wants you to be, to those you already love and to strangers God may be preparing to cross your path.