When I was seven, and a southern Baptist, the ministers always talked about having a personal friendship, or relationship, with Jesus. That puzzled my young mind since I simply didn’t grasp how one could be a friend with a dead person. And then I learned about resurrection, our soul, and a plethora of spiritual entities from the mystics to the myriad of saints. In my adult life I even experienced many spiritual interactions with what I like to call the “Spiritual realm.” Finally, as I studied the scriptures, attended seminary, studied many scholarly works on Jesus, I too developed a personal friendship with Jesus. Obviously it wasn’t a face-to-face, I can reach out and touch Jesus friendship, but a deeply spiritual friendship nonetheless. We take walks together, we have chats, I pray with Jesus, and in my mere human weakness, I even ask Jesus to let my NY Giants win the Super Bowl (they did). What a guy that Jesus.
One of my favorite early hymns is “What a friend we have in Jesus.” It was the first hymn I learned to play on the piano, and to this day I can at least sing from memory the first verse. Over the years I have learned our friends can be near or far away yet our bond of love keeps us connected; often frequently; often rarely. It is like that with Jesus and me. Our love for each other keeps us connected. Thanks be to God.
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17