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I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS An audio series on Jesus’ practice of friendship, prepared for you by Greenwood Community Church (podcast available)

While our nation heals from the COVID pandemic, we live on in the pandemic of our loneliness. Our former surgeon general has said loneliness is our most pervasive health crisis, and studies show more than sixty percent of Americans are lonely. Mother Teresa said, “The greatest disease in the West is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for . . many (are) dying for a little love.” This loneliness exists at Greenwood too. Maybe you feel it. Or maybe the person next to you on Sunday morning has no one in the world who knows if her plane lands on time. Jesus means for His church to be an oasis of friendship. He lifts up the love between friends above all other loves: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” He said. He envisions us as a circle of friends so loving that we will wash one another’s feet and lay down our lives for one another: “This is my commandment,” He told His friends, “that you love one another as I have loved you,” saying as well, “I have called you friends.” So, He has called us friends

  • we are His friends,
  • and He wants us to be friends to one another.

But our culture works against friendship, and friendships can be tricky and elusive. So we hope by focusing on friendship in this podcast—the friendships of Jesus and the things we are learning about friendship—we will help one another overcome the obstacles to life-giving friendship we all face. May we, Greenwood, grow together in friendship. May there be no one lonely among us.

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