Minister’s October Message

Clarkston Friends with Jesus in Clarkston

Dear Friends,
Next weekend, Ryan Air permitting, I am going away for a few days with friends I don’t get to see as often I’d like to, given our very different lives. I met these friends at a church young women’s group over thirty years ago and I am look forward to relaxing with them, talking about the history we share, having some fun together and sharing the things that matter to us. The thing about these friends is that they know me really well, and they still seem to want to spend time with me and I love that about them.

In life we can have many different levels of friendships. There is the kind of friendship that says, hello and is warm and friendly even if we don’t know, or don’t remember a person’s name; then there is the kind of friendships where we know the person’s name and can chat for a while and then there are those friendships where we spend extended times together and perhaps have dinner or go away on holiday.

As I write, I am preparing to speak to the Guild at their opening meeting for their new session. The bible reading on which the Guild has chosen to focus is taken from John’s Gospel 15:9-15, where Jesus says that we are His friends if we do what He commands. Jesus’ words prompted me to reflect on the friendships I have with others and the friendship I have with God in Jesus Christ; hence my thoughts here!

In calling His disciples friends, Jesus was trying to expand his disciple’s understanding of their relationship with Him. In the 1st century, calling someone a friend meant that they had a place of honour in your life. On the night before His death, Jesus therefore made it clear that He viewed his disciples as faithful and trustworthy friends whom He loved and valued. The events that followed that night reveal the difficulties the disciples had in living up to the honour of being called Jesus friends. Yet they persisted with that friendship and eventually became bearers of that friendship to others.

Like Jesus disciples before us, for 133 years, Greenbank Parish Church has tried to share the friendship of Jesus Christ in the Parish of Clarkston. This friendship has survived wars, disasters, economic crisis, recessions, good times and bad times. This friendship has been a sign of hope and love and light in dark times. This friendship has been shared in many ways and made real by those who volunteer, visit, make phone calls, write encouraging letters, bake, pray together, or even sit in silence as they care for others – especially at the most vulnerable times of life.

Many, many people have been thankful for these friendships just as I am thankful for the good friendships I have in my life. Above all though, I am thankful for the friend I have in Jesus, who has promised never to leave me; who focuses on my potential rather than my failures and who is gracious and loving towards me in ways beyond what I could ever deserve. I pray that you might know that friendship too.

In whatever comes your way in the days ahead, may you not only know the love and support of good and faithful friends, but above all may you know the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in you and working through you!

Rev. Jeanne Roddick Signature


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