5th Sunday Friendship Sundays in 2012!
One of the great things we do as the church of Jesus Christ is actually a very apostolic and scriptural practice: we worship, pray, and eat together! I’m so glad that on the 5th Sundays of this year we’re going to celebrate “Friendship Sundays!” If you did not know about today’s celebration, and the covered dish lunch that immediately follows worship, I sure hope you will stay and eat with us anyway. Whether you’re visiting with us today for the first time or you just “missed the news about today,” please stay and have lunch in the fellowship hall. You are expected and welcomed. There’s always plenty!
Our theme on Friendship Sundays is Friendship! Today we begin a message series titled, “Meet the Master’s Men,” and today’s disciple is James. In our exploring of James’ life, I hope we all find qualities within him that will inspire us to be better friends of Jesus and better friends with the people in our lives.
Friends are Good for Your Health!
Celebrating Friendship today is a very good, even healthy, thing! According to one Yale University study, having fewer friends leads to higher stress and a shorter life. In a study of 2,800 men and women over the age of 65, those with more friends had a lower risk of health problems, and they recovered faster when they did develop them. Another study of 10,000 seniors showed that having friends reduced the risk of death by about 50 percent over a five-year period. The study concludes: “Friends can help you reduce stress, improve the quality of your life, live longer, get a better job, expand your business, improve your marriage and derive more joy from your life.”
There you have it. The jury is back! It’s GOOD to have a friend and to be a friend! It’s also true that a church that has a warm, prevailing spirit of authentic friendship is a church that people want to be a part of. I’m so glad we’re being intentional in 2012 about celebrating Friendship! Everybody, we all, need friends!
Here are some true and touching insights about friendship:
Cicero: Our nature has no love for solitude, and always leans, as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship.
Euripides: One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.
Mark Twain: Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Unknown: A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
Anonymous: You may be one person to the world but you may be the world to one person.
God bless our time together today as friends!
Your Pastor and Friend, Mark