Jesus cried out and said,
Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
— John 12:44-50
The peace of the Lord be with you. Those of you who know me know that I love music. So as I ponder these words from the Gospel of John this morning I remember the James Taylor song You’ve got a friend. Mr. Taylor, with that beautiful baritone voice, reminds us that when times are dark or troubled and we feel like we can’t do it on or own, that we in fact, do not do it alone.
This gospel reading today reminds us that the best friend we have is the one who walks with us every day. While sometimes His words offer correction or may make us think deeply, his only desire is to help us to live richly and rightly. Living in those ways leaves us unburdened providing us with a true freedom. His love is the truest freedom that we can ever experience. Like a great teacher, a parent, or a coach who sees the potential that we hold, Jesus encourages and provides us guidance. Come on, he says, I’m with you every step of the way, don’t give up don’t get discouraged, I’m right here with you.
So at those moments when life feels a bit heavier than we prefer, let’s remember to ask Jesus our special friend for his help for his assistance and strength… You got a friend, oh yeah, yeah, you got a friend…
(A special thanks to James Taylor for his interpretation of Carole Kings song You got a friend.)