Friday, May 8, 2015

Easter 6 B - John 15:9-17

John 15:9-17
It is significant that this “status update” from servant to friend occurs in the Gospel of John. After all Jesus’ status was updated from mostly “Messiah” in the synoptic Gospels to “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) So the God of Sinai (fire and smoke on the mountain don’t come near lest ye die) is now revealed as the Word made friend. Since true friendship does not operate as a hierarchy Jesus’ statement is as radical as anything uttered in the scriptures. We are on a first name basis with the God whose name could not be spoken - lest ye die! The flip side of this new arrangement is that our continuing in the ways of our first parent’s garden rebellion is that much more damaging to ourselves and the God come near who is our friend. Friendship can only endure so much before the one whose heart is open to the other is hurt in such a way that the real benefit of friendship, “that my joy may be in you that your joy may be complete” is exhausted. Not that God abandons us but “I've got friends in low places” (Garth Brooks) is not nearly as friendly as it sounds and Jesus desires a relationship that blesses Jesus as much as it blesses us. Nothing blesses Jesus more than when you and I, and everybody else for that matter, friend each other in ways that go beyond “likes” on a page. Jesus’ joy can only be complete when our joy is. Which means my joy can only be complete when your joy is complete and your joy can only be complete when my joy is complete and that joy begins and ends with acting more friendly towards the One who chose to call us friends.

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