Park Avenue Methodist Church, Park Avenue North, Northampton, NN3 2HT :: 01604 720624
Administrator - Alan Brett :: Senior Steward - Hilary MacCallum |

Friends are a gift

Tina SwireHave you ever heard of Julia? She is my best friend. We have been best friends since we have been four. She lives in Vancouver, now. We haven’t seen each other for about 20 years. We can go years without speaking to each other on the phone, and yet, when we do, we just pick up where we left off.

Friends like that are a gift. Deep, real, beyond even space and time, they are enduring and inspiring and comforting and altogether wonderful.

One of our friends in the faith is Prisca. Ever heard of her? She was a contemporary of Paul, one of his dearest friends and follower traveler in this journey of faith.

She is referenced only a few times in the Bible, however, the picture which comes across about her is one of courage, generosity, bravery, passion for Jesus and someone one not adverse to taking risks for the glory of God. She is warm and loyal. She teaches others about the faith. She runs a church from her home and in Romans 16, her group is the only one named as a church. Her deeds were well known in the early church .

Paul in his final letter, makes sure she is mentioned as one who is to receive his final greetings. Now there is a statement.

Maybe you have heard of her as Priscilla, which would have been her more informal, or nickname.

Perhaps you have not heard of her at all.

I believe Prisca is someone we should highlight more as a follower of Jesus and in whose example there is much to commend, if nothing else, because she highlights so much of our about discipleship. That is about being a friend of Jesus and one another.

Discipleship, being a friend, is about taking risks, about opening you heart, about being passionate, about being the church wherever, whenever and however you are. It is about being generous and sharing the story with others. It is about being passionate and compassionate.

It is about friendship. It is about being in a warm loving honest and real relationship with God, creation and the wider human family. It is about understanding that we are all called to be as sisters and brothers with one another, even if that comes at a cost and that cost is sometimes about reminding others of that truth.

This is real friendship; deep long lasting. Friendship with God and one another. It is the friendship which reconciles and makes all things new. It is the friendship of manger cross and empty tomb, which says I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

God ever calls us to be friends, especially to the strangers in our midst and to live real lasting friendship, trusting in Christ, our guide and our friend.

Let us draw inspiration from the friendship of those whose shoulders we stand on. They are there, waiting to listen and hear and tell their tale again, ready to pick up where we left off. For that is Christ’s way.

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