Friday, September 15, 2017

Porch Stories: Friends

porch stories: friends

Our Porch Stories host Kristin provides outstanding email content that's so worth another sign-up; this week she write about the category of Email Friends and asks us to "Join me on my {email} porch."

With the ascendancy of Facebook and other social media connections we often call "friends," friendship has become controversial topic. Is a FB friend a "real" friend? Is it ok to unfriend someone on social media or even in real life? The few times I've mentioned to a current friend how all my former friends abandoned me {now that one's very complicated}, their instant response was "then they weren't real friends! As a matter of fact, most of them had been very good friends who shared long histories, joys, and expectations for futures together.

Churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary are almost four months into the green and growing time of the Season of {the Holy Spirit of} Pentecost that we often call the Season of the Church. We've been studying and considering Jesus' examples and instructions via the gospel writer Matthew on how to be church coupled with related passages from the epistles that over the past few weeks have been from the letter to the church at Rome. Last Sunday we heard the apostle Paul's exhortation about owing and obligation – oughtness – debt and obedience summarized into love, followed by his explanation of why we love:

8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments ... are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13

From Jesus's famous Johannine discourse on friendship and friends:

15I don't call you servants any longer, because servants don't know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You didn't choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.
John 15

Three variations of Proverbs 17:17:

• Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
The Message

• Friends always show their love. What are relatives for if not to share trouble?
Good News Bible

• Friends love all the time, and kinsfolk are born for times of trouble.
Common English Bible

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