Friday, October 30, 2015

Devotional 10-30-15

 MY FRIENDS

 “ No longer do I call  you  servants, for the servant does not know what his
Master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all I have heard from my 
Father I have made known to you.”  John 15: 15

A trip in September to see a Cincinnati Reds baseball game with friends from church brought back a memory of long ago.  As a youngster I loved watching major league baseball, particularly with my dad, and I knew uniform numbers and statistics for many players. One summer we went to Cincinnati to see the St. Louis Cardinals and spent the night prior to the game at a downtown hotel.  While at the registration desk I spotted four men dressed in business attire chatting in the lobby.  I said to my dad: “I believe that is Stan Musial in the group.” He replied: “You are right; it is.” “Will you go over with me to ask for his autograph?”  “No, he replied, but I will wait right here while you go.”

For those who have no idea of whom I am writing, Stan Musial was an outstanding player during the 1950 ties and 1960 ties whose entire career was with the Cardinals.   Know as “Stan the Man,” he was well liked and respected, an exemplary person both on and off the field,   So, I approached him.  “Mr. Musial, may I interrupt to ask you to sign my autograph book?”  He replied: “I would be glad to do that but first, let me introduce you to my friends.”  One was another player for St. Louis whom I would have recognized had I seen his uniform number.  The other two were umpires in town, I assume, to officiate.

While umpires are essential to the game of baseball, they are probably the most unappreciated, frequently criticized or ignored persons on the field.  Their work demands impartiality as they make critical calls in split second decisions.   Their schedules require frequent travel.  Beneath the protective gear, these persons were probably like any others who appreciated respect and casual camaraderie.  It seemed an unlikely group, yet without hesitation he said: “First, let me introduce you to my friends.”

In our scripture passage, we encounter Jesus with his disciples, another unlikely group of ordinary people from various walks in life, yet each chosen for a purpose. They have been with Jesus for some time now, listening to his teachings, witnessing healings and discovering who He is.  Jesus knows that his time on earth is drawing to a close and there is much to impart to them.  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. You are my friends if you do what I command.”  What follows are the words above.  Jesus tells the disciples that they are not servants who have no idea what the master is about, but friends with whom He has shared all that He has heard from the Father. The disciples have been chosen for a purpose: to bear fruit by witnessing God’s love to others.                                                                                                                                  

We are called to do likewise.  This can seem intimidating, so how do we go about it?  Certainly and importantly by the example of the life we live but also, I believe, in small intentional decisions we make along the way.   Several weeks ago a couple from a Sunday School class invited friends to a class dinner in a home.  I enjoyed meeting these persons for the first time, hearing a little of their story and sharing a little of mine.  As I observed them mingling with others, words from long ago echoed in my mind.  “First, let me introduce you to my friends.”

Prayer:  Loving God, you call us to be witnesses to your love. Empower us now to do just that.  In the name of Christ, we pray.  Amen.  

Sue Darlington Woods

2 comments:

Diane Feaganes said...

Sue, I enjoyed your devotional very much--well "said."

Becky Warren said...

Sue, your story brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful reminder that we don't always have to agree in order to be friends. Now if we can just get Congress to read this:)
Becky Warren