Samuel Traore (age 9), of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, made such good friends with our daughter, Emily Swora, that he wasn’t about to let her get into the bus to leave for Bobo-Dioulasso and points west without a struggle (summer, 2004).
In some times and cultures, it is the very reason for living, and the one thing that always makes it worthwhile, the one enduring sweetness, given all the sufferings and losses we sustain. No, not Mexican food(though it comes close)! I mean Friendship! Consider the ancient Greek story of Damon and Pythias, who…..well, read the attached message (below) from Emmanuel Mennonite Church for Sunday, April 6, to find out what they did for each other.
But in this day and culture, friendship is something of a lost art as relationships come increasingly to be seen in the service of the market and money, rather than vice versa. Our church and movement (Anabaptist/Mennonite) make a big thing out of "discipleship." But sometimes we make that out to be simply a matter of strenuous rules and high expectations, forgetting that Jesus’ call to four fishermen along the Sea of Galilee, to "follow me," was essentially a call to share their lives in love, to the point even of being willing to give them in exchange for each other. And there you have friendship.
Or did I miss the point? Check out the following message at Download friendships.doc and let me know what you think.
Mathew Swora, pastor