Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Palm Sunday, March 20 Read John 15

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. John 15:15-16

Chosen To Be Friends

On this Palm Sunday, what more fitting way to know Jesus than as a friend? The word friend in this passage is from the Greek verb phileo, which means to love. To be Jesus’ friend is to love Jesus and to be loved by Jesus. Pretty simple, huh? Maybe for Jesus, but not for us.

A friend is a person you turn to when you want to share exciting news, when you need to be with someone, when you feel empty and lost, when you need help to think through something –in all the good and all the bad times. A friend is your go-to person.

We each know who that go-to person is for us. We know that person will love us, support us, encourage us and let us be who we authentically are. We call them our best friend. We do not know how we could get along without them.

Jesus calls his disciples his best friends, and he wants them to consider him their best friend. They have been his followers and his students and now, as he nears the final week of his life, he lets them know that they are more than disciples. They are his friends. He can turn to them, and they can turn to him.

Jesus calls us his best friends as well. He depends on us to continue spreading his love and his word. And he wants us to turn to him as a friend all the time – not only in the good times, but also in the bad. Jesus is always there for us. A friend once told me that when she could not pray, when she was so lonely, sad and hopeless that she did not know where to turn, she would simply say “Jesus” over and over again. Her first “Jesus” was rote. As she continued, she felt the connection strengthen and praying became possible.

Whatever way we find to turn to Jesus, he wants us to know that he will be there for us – always – to the end of the world. Jesus needs us and we need Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus. Indeed!

Anita Dorf
Parish Ministry Associate

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