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by Rev David Jones.

It’s just over three weeks to the referendum which will decide whether we remain or leave the European Union.  Both sides are really upping their efforts to try and convince us how to cast our vote.  One things for sure whatever the result on 24th June there’s going to be the real need for those on opposing sides to just get on with whatever we the electorate decide and despite past differences to work together for the good of all.  As we have seen there have been deep divisions in both Conservative and Labor camps and conversely those normally at odds with each other politically are close allies in their cause. For instance, last Monday the Prime Minister and Labour mayor of London Sadik Khan shared a platfom to get their point across.  There’s no doubt, however, that when its all over old rivalries will emerge again and everything will be back to normal.  Hopefully strained friendships will soon be restored and new ones maintained, we’ll just have to wait and see!

 

Friendship is, of course one of the most precious gifts of life.  A true friend is someone who does not fall into the ‘fair weather’ category, but who stays the course of being there for us both in good times and in bad.  True friendship is also something which is essentially practical because we have to work at it.  It means that we do not call it a day when we have differences or when something was needed to be said which no one else would say.   It means that we build bridges for the sake of such friendships and not allow them to fade.  Good times and difficult times are enriched by true friendship; that’s why true friends are so very special.

 

Jesus valued the friendship of his disciples He enjoyed the company of the family at Bethany and his first miracle was at a wedding reception, turning the water into wine, saving the host the awful embarrassment of letting down his friends at such an important occasion.  Those Jesus called to be disciples soon became friends, and others who thought themselves worthless and rejected found in Jesus a friend who enabled them to find a new self-worth.  ‘What a friend we have in Jesus,’ is not the opening line of a much loved hymn but the true experiences of all who know that He is the friend who will never let us down.  Jesus the ‘friend’ of publicans and sinners – whose love is constant and everlasting, and whose kindness and compassion know no limits!

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