Wednesday, October 12, 2016
October 12, 2016 "Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver, the other gold." That old ditty has a ring of truth to it. When circumstances or distance cuts the daily ties, rare are the friends with whom after years apart you can pick up exactly where you left off. Linda and I are blessed to have such friends. More than thirty years ago, I became pastor of Park church as a solo charge. Before that, my responsibilities included the Gerry church where I had my office. We were young then, with young children, and shared life with a couple just a few years our junior until my appointment changed. The geographical distance between us and them hadn't changed, and we occasionally saw each other around town, but without the weekly connection afforded by worshipping together, and with the increasing responsibilities of raising young children, sad to say, life got in the way. Until recently when they started attending Park church. It has been an amazing experience, almost as if time had never intervened. We had them over for dinner some time ago, and tonight we spent the evening with them, sharing and laughing around their dinner table as, except for both of us having grandchildren, the years melted away. One of the often unsung blessings of Christian faith is the connection it gives with those who share the same love for Christ. Jesus prayed that we would be one, as he and his Father are one; in other words, that there would be a connection that binds us together through thick and thin, through the years and miles. Our God never changes; his love is eternal, which means that we are held to one another by more than the common interests of hobbies, something greater than similar political beliefs, by something stronger than time or distance. We are held together by the unchanging love of Christ, and when these relationships are renewed, the timelessness of that love is readily apparent. Thank you, Lord, for such friendships. And thank you, Dennis and Linda, for being that kind of friends.