Last Tuesday I received news that a friend of mine (Paul) had died.
Even though I have not seen him for some 25 years, news of Paul’s death brought sadness to my heart.
Paul became a close friend and a mentor for me in my first parish in Townsville almost 40 years ago.
He too was ordained and we both served on the Townsville Inter-church Council for seven years. It was there that we got to know each other well.
Though Paul had almost 20 years of experience in Ministry and was from a different denomination, we shared similar views about Jesus and the ministry and mission that Jesus calls us to do.
Paul often joined us in our home for a meal.
If he was there when it was bedtime for our children he would join Dawn or myself in praying for our children and he would give them a blessing when saying good night to them.
We played golf together regularly and we enjoyed the odd glass of red wine together.
As a newly ordained Pastor, I appreciated Paul’s encouragement, his advice, his wisdom, and his support.
Paul was a very loving, kind, gentle man and we spent many memorable times sharing with each other.
I hope you have at least one really “good friend” too.
So what makes someone a good friend? For me a “good friend” is someone we trust and who trusts us; who cares for us; who is there for us no matter what happens, who is honest with us.
Someone in whom we can confide, who accepts us as we are and with whom we enjoy spending time.
Amazingly, the Bible tells us that Jesus considers those of us who follow Him to be His “good friends”.
Jesus says I no longer call you servants, instead I call you friends. That is the incredibly unique relationship that exists between Jesus and His followers.
Jesus says we are His friends whom He loves with the same unlimited, unconditional love that His Father loves Him with.
We are His friends to whom He promises “I am with you and for you always”.
Pastor Allan Wain
Ceduna Lutheran Parish