Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. - Proverbs 17:17 MSG
Do you remember the days before cell phones, when you had a landline? Then, most of the telecom companies offered something called the Friends and Family Plan. It was a discounted program for the people you often called most frequently—those whom you loved and wanted to share the events of your life.
The text today reminds us of the importance of these relationships. We all need people in our corner that believe in us. Those trusted folks we can call any time of the day and know they listen with a sympathetic ear. It is also an honor and blessing to be the person who called. Because it shows, you are valued and loved.
As we age, our world sadly grows smaller as we lose many of our beloved. Sometimes life may lead us away from our friends and families--jobs, changes in our finances and health, etc. During this time, we may feel disconnected and lost. As the church, we stand ready to support and care for each other. To offer love when we've lost our friends and our families are not near or dysfunctional. We are to provide the love of Christ to all in every situation through the joys and the trials.
Lord, giver of perfect love, we give thanks for friends and family. Those people with which we feel safe to share life. Those who love us despite who we sometimes are. Please help us be that person for others, help us love like Jesus, and welcome all your children with open hearts and arms. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.