What A Friend!!!
We all know very well the words to the familiar hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." The hymn poetically speaks of the wonders that Jesus has done for us in bearing all our burdens and speaks of the peace we have when we "take it to the Lord in prayer. We truly do not have a friend like Jesus. You see this at the cross. For there, amidst all the suffering and sorrow that the sins of mankind could muster, Jesus stood tall. He took the place, not of His friends, but His enemies, YOU AND ME (Read Romans 5). There He died a substitutionary death that answered every claim that sin and death held on us. In Jesus we see the incarnation of the Spiritual truth that says "Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends." This is exactly what Jesus has done for you and me. Is it any wonder that we in the Church would eagerly sing a hymn entitled "What a Friend We Have in Jesus?"
We know this friend. We know Him very well. He has gone to great lengths to let us know about Himself. The pages of Holy Scripture are filled with the reality of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, so richly poured out on the Day of Pentecost, uses the means of grace, Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper, to show us sensually the friend we have in Jesus. You and I, by grace through faith KNOW Jesus as our friend.
However, not everyone does. There are people whom you know that don't know Jesus. Sure, they may have heard His name once or twice. Maybe they even went to Sunday School when they were a kid. And judging by the number of names on my non-communing list, they may have even been confirmed with you. But for whatever reason, they don't know Him any more. And as the hymn says, what peace they often forfeit. They forfeit this peace because they are looking for it places where it was never promised.
Those who never knew, or have turned their backs on Jesus, need a friend right now. They need YOU! They need someone to reach out to them with a welcoming hand and an invitation. They need YOU to be their friend. They need YOU to be the Jesus they have forgotten or never heard of. And YOU can do it! In the Gospel, God has called YOU to do it!!!
On the 13th, Zion's Board of Evangelism is hosting a "Friendship Sunday." This is an opportunity that each one of us can take part in. All you need to do is be a friend. Friends share good news all the time. Think about all the times you had good news in your life. Didn't you want to shout it from the rooftops? But before the roof, you told your best friends. Well, you and I have good news. In fact, there can be no greater news that what Jesus has done for us at the cross. Your friends need that good news. A friend would want to know this good news.
You don't have to be preachy. Just friendly. I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU to ask God to open the door to a friend's heart so that you might be used by Him to bring them to Jesus. If you do, I know that God will make it happen. But when you pray, get ready! For then is the time to be a friend! Just be there. Listen. And then tell them about the greatest, dearest and most precious FRIEND you have - Jesus! THEN BRING THEM TO HIM! On the 13th. Or any Service! That is what a friend would do! Don't wait! It could mean a friend being lost for eternity!