Friend and Lover

Friend and Lover, bless us and keep us; Light of the world, shine on our faces; Transfigured Yeshua, lift us to glory. May the darkness of night deepen and dazzle.

(Prayer at Night’s Approaching, Jim Cotter, Morehouse, 1998)

Offered by Bill Albritton – teacher in faith, prayer leader, child of God.

Today when we are asked to “like” or “friend” someone or something, it implies a contact on some social networking website. We throw the word “friend” around rather loosely. Friend also can mean one who gives financial or other types of support to an organization – as in “Join the Friends of the Wareham Free Library.” (I had to put that in for Johnna’s sake!) But not here. No social network or money is required with this Friend.

I grew up (to the extent I ever have) singing “What a friend we have in Jesus,” as have many others. The lyrics still stir me deeply (sing along if you wish):

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer

O what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer

(Charles Crozat Converse, Music; Joseph Scriven, Lyrics)

As I think about these words, I am transformed – from it being all about me, to it being all about my Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. This Friend is also a Lover, both of which imply a mutual bond – although one definition of a true friend is “one who gives without expectation of receiving.” God’s friendship and love are without expectation. Yet when I truly believe this, how can I help but give back?

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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