the gift of “friendship with God”

As I read on this theme of friendship with God, I continue to be challenged in how I define my faith. This quote also jumped out at me:
"...a life of friendship with God should create a church of distinctive character and witness and, therefore, special responsibilities. At the very least it suggests that people should be able to look to the church and see embodied there genuine joy, peace, mercy, kindness, generosity, hospitality, and a people who are not afraid to be truthful with one another. What a gift the church could be if people really could see these qualities alive in it today.” Paul J. Wadell, Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship.
I especially like Wadell’s comment on the church as “a gift” to the world. How Christians relate to one another determines how the world will see God. Now that’s a sobering thought! Yet it’s also inspiring. Too often consider our faith as Christians as an idea or worldview we need to communicate to the world. And it is. But it is so much more. Our faith is “good news” embodied in our lives together. Friendship with God, then, challenges us to go beyond an abstract, individualistic, and spiritualized faith to one which takes seriously the words of John, “Let us love one another, for love comes from God...God is love” (1 Jn. 4:7-8).

This is the gift of friendship with God.

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