What a beautiful thing friendship is.


In the autumn of 1966, I met a chap called William King at St Luke’s College, Exeter. Kindred spirits we were, and have remained the best of friends ever since. Our faith is a common denominator, as is our love of music and the natural world. We all have a similar experience of ties made with others, and the wonderful thing in today’s Gospel is that Jesus calls his followers friends.

An old adage states that friends are ‘the family we choose’. Jesus here is calling ‘friends’ – chosen and appointed to join Him in witnessing to the Kingdom.

Unlike servants, friends don’t merely follow orders but put themselves out for one another, and enjoy spending time in each other’s company, As part of this friendship with Him, Jesus commands us to love one another, reflecting the love that God has for Jesus and that Jesus has for us. This mutual love releases joy, and the ability to act sacrificially, encouraging others into a lasting relationship with the Father.


….and Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end:
O give me grace to follow
my Master and my Friend.


John Marsden