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Meaningful Friendship

2

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
- Mark 2:1-3
 
For the next two weeks we’re going to be looking at the story of the healing of the paralytic. This paralyzed man had friends who carried him over the crowd and straight to Jesus, who healed him. This story gives us an insight into the heart of spiritual friendship and of God’s compassion.
 
The ancient world would have been an incredibly difficult world for someone experiencing paralysis. There was no ADA. Wheelchairs weren’t available. Paralytics would have been completely dependent on their family and friends in a society that didn’t broadly welcome them.
 
People with physical disabilities would have been considered deformed, would have been considered cursed by God, and would have been prevented from entering fully into fellowship with their spiritual communities.
 
A paralyzed person would have experienced deep disconnection from God and from other people.
 
Friendship reverses that disconnection. In spiritual friendship, we connect in meaningful ways with another person and, ultimately, through that relationship, with God.
 
What is your current experience of friendship? With whom do you have meaningful friendships? Which of your friendships help you connect well with God?

2 Comments

Thanks to Tony for the vital and timely reminder.

Let me share this poem with you: Reach out and connect:

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know a year is gone
And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.
And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love someone, tell them.
Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
Because when you decide that it is the right time
it might be too late.
Seize the day. Never have regrets.
And most importantly, stay close to your friends
and family, for they have helped
make you the person that you are today.

[EDITED 3/10/18 per Tony's request]

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