On Thursday and Friday, I went down to IL to see my best friend Ryan. Ryan and I have been friends since high school and we have experienced a lot together. He was best man in my wedding and I performed his wedding. He was there when my Dad died and the one person I wanted with me when my engagement ended. I was there when his wife had heart surgery. When he was baptized, I was his sponsor. We have been there for every up and every down. I mean, we made sure we saw every new “Star Wars” movie together on opening day, whether it was him coming to MN at the time or me going down to IL. There is no one on this planet, aside from my wife Amy, who knows me as well as Ryan.
However, despite this, we rarely get a chance to see each other. I hadn’t seen Ryan in just over two years. His son, Aaron, is 18 months old and I just got to meet him. We were set to get together a year ago right after Aaron was born but he had to cancel due to illness, one that eventually landed him in the hospital. We want to get together more but often can’t due to work obligations, family commitments, and just plain ol’ distance.
Yet, when I got there, it didn’t take long for it to seem like I hadn’t seen him in two years. We fell right back into it like we had just seen each other a few days before. We had a great time talking, laughing, and hanging out. It was great and we talked about how we have to try to get together more often and you know when Star Wars Episode VII comes out on December 18, 2015, we will figure out a way to watch it together.
I’m sure many of you have that close friend, the one who knows you so well and you know so well that it doesn’t matter how long it has been since you seen them, when you do it just picks up right where you left off like no time has passed. This kind of friend you know will always be there for you, no matter what. The kind of friend who knows every foible, every gift, every failure, and every success about you. The kind of friend you can lean on, count on, and talk to.
Did you know that Jesus is that kind of friend to you? Jesus knows everything about you, good and bad. Jesus has made a promise to always be there for you, to listen to your concerns and your celebrations, to cry with you and high five you. Jesus has promised to be with you ALWAYS. And always means just that.
That means Jesus is there to be your friend during those times when you are strong in faith and those days when you are not. Jesus is there to be your Savior no matter how long you have been away from him. No matter how long it has been since you have talked to him prayer or worshipped him in church. Jesus is the kind of friend who always be there with open arms, always ready and waiting when you are ready to have a relationship with him.
Jesus is waiting this day to be a friend to you. If you have been far away from him for a while, the door is always open. Jesus is ready and waiting to remind you that you are loved, forgiven, blessed, and saved. Jesus is ready to hear your joys and sorrows. Jesus is ready to remind you that you will have no greater friend than him because this friend gives his life for yours.
I know that no matter how long it takes between visits with Ryan and I that he always has my back and I his. And I know, no matter what, that my Savior Jesus Christ is with me as well and that I always have a friend in him. For great friends in our lives and for our wonderful friend and Savior Jesus Christ we can say, “Thanks be to God!” Amen.