Minister’s Blog

10 September 2019

What is a Friend?

It is hard to define.

It can’t be expressed

in word or in rhyme.

And if I was asked,

I would surely contend

that you are my perfect

description of Friend.

These words were handwritten by my senior elder in Forth. The  friendship which Tam was celebrating couldn’t be expressed ‘in word or in rhyme’. It cannot be contained in any combination of words. It defies our attempts at definition. It can only be seen in the heart of the one who is a friend.

This difficulty in defining what constitutes a friend leads us into the heart of the gospel. Jesus says to his disciples just before his parting, ‘I do not call you servants any longer … but I have called you friends.’

And he makes this transformative statement immediately after he has revealed the quality of his love. ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’  And, of course, these words have been immortalised on every war memorial in the country.