Friends of Christ

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Jesus
 
Jesus calls us not as servants, but as friends. The idea of friendship with God is perhaps a strange one but takes us beyond the servile worship of a creature of its deity to a loving, divine mutuality. Jesus invites us into participation in the overflowing love of God which spills into our lives, filling us and pouring out in love of our neighbour.
 
This outpouring is shockingly indiscriminate. Jesus was constantly breaking down barriers that separate pure versus impure, clean and unclean, saint and sinner. The story of the early church is the tale of the constant surprise of communities of faith as they encounter this Spirit in which there is no room for judgement, sweeping away the exclusion zones and making enemies into friends. The most shocking message of the Gospel is who it lets in, not who it keeps out. There is no privileging of one group over another in this vision of inclusive friendship where everyone belongs.
 
The final word is that there is no one who is impure, no one who is unclean, no one whose sins could remove God’s love for them. The crucified and risen one, who still bears the scars, comes to each of us with forgiveness, empowering us to extend that same mercy to others. The only command is to love which becomes the natural outcome of a deep and abiding friendship with God. The command and the gift are the same thing.
 
How are we called to be different, if we are called friends of Christ?
 
Grace and peace,
Sue+

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