‘Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me’. (John 15:15).

At first this announcement seems surprising; can Jesus, God with us, be a friend? Surely he’s beyond the need of friends? In the Gospels, Jesus clearly did need his friends, throughout his ministry he sought their companionship and wanted to share his life with them. And they felt they had a role in protecting him, sometimes from the crowds and towards the end of his ministry, from harm, as he told them he was heading to Jerusalem.

Friendship is a cornerstone of our lives, it’s our friends who accept, challenge and celebrate us through the ups and downs of daily life. Jesus places such a strong emphasis on friendship during his time on earth because he knew the value of friendship, but also because he knew that this would be a model for the church after the resurrection. The church today is called to walk with Jesus as our friend. As we learn to pray, so we learn that Jesus is beside us, present by his Spirit, sharing in the ups and downs of our lives.

Contributed by Rev Caroline Halmshaw