Friends for years at Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchYou may remember at the end of the book of Job, God takes his three friends to task for their false accusations and for the way they failed to help Job during a time of tremendous duress. God then commands them to go make a sacrifice of repentance. But then, God also commands Job to go and pray for his friends. Things had been said between Job and his friends that would strain any relationship, and the Lord knows it is going to take work to heal.

What strikes me about this passage is that it is clear God wants the friends to reconcile. God knows that friendships are a vital part of life. But they do take work, they do take forgiveness, and they do require sacrifice.

An ancient Hasidic folk saying reminds us, “If you are looking for a friend who has no faults, you will have no friends.”

In your own life, may you invest in friendships. And may you be quick to reconcile, to forgive, and even to sacrifice for them.

Let us pray: God of grace, what a gift friends are to us… Thank you for people with whom we have found a sense of connection and companionship. Thank you for the deep love and grace that we feel through them. We lift our friends up to your care today.

Loving God, we also pray today for people who are lonely… and for others who are most often forgotten… Grant us your grace, your patience, your forgiveness and your love – that we might be better friends to those we love – and better able to reach out to those who may need us most. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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