This weekend we go to camp: Barbara C. Harris Camp, in particular. We are very excited for this year's Parish Weekend Away. And, while we all cannot attend, it is good to know that we are bound together by the Spirit in all our gathering together.
Growing up, camp was a place of joy and laughter, fun and faith, but also touched by the familiar feeling of nervousness. I was nervous, wondering: Will people make fun of me? Will I be liked? Will I fit in? Meeting new people, going beyond the casual "hello," making friends is always a bit of a risk. Making friends asks something of us and that can be challenging. You likely know this from your place of work, your time at school, simply being a neighbor, and by being a part of Epiphany. Over the past few years we have focused on renewing our relationships here at Epiphany by simply being together. This year, we want to deepen our relationships with God and one another by making time and spaces for us to become friends. Friends? What does that have to do with church?
One of the last things Jesus says is this: I no longer call you servants; I call you friends. I think if we are understanding Jesus, he has told us that being friends has everything to do with church. Friends share their lives with one another. Friends are dependable and understanding. Friends value one another simply because they are—as who they are. Friends, Jesus tells us, love one another. In a world that makes it harder and harder to simply have friends and be friends, Jesus' invitation to friendship is no small thing. As humans, friendship is an antidote to loneliness. As Christians, friendship is an invitation into love—God's love.
This weekend, this year, I want to invite you deeper into friendship with God and friendship with one another. Our lives are bound together as the Body of Christ; yes, God's Spirit binds us together—it's just a given since our lives are held in the one true love of God. As the saying goes: you show me your friends, I'll show you your future. Knowing this, we can simply be who we are together, because, in Christ, we have a friend and our future with God and one another is certain. It's all love. Let our life together make it so.
Have a blessed weekend, friends,