As the church that serves the countryside, we commit ourselves to share Christ's love in action through our congregation, community, and the world.
Pastor Hans Lillejord's sermon October 16, 2016 is now online.
Importance of Friendship
One of the most important task that has been given us by our religion is "Love thy neighbor". That directive also includes "Love your family". This directive is a charge to be concerned about human relationships in our lives. It is about the business of creating friendship with people who make us feel comfortable and with those we share honesty and trust.
This includes everybody from mere acquaintances to someone with whom we share our most intimate secrets. The relationship we have with one another will vary from person to person but some kind of bond is always there.
If we feel we don't have many friendships it is quite possible that we don't give enough time to develop them. On our list of goals or "bucket list, developing certain friendships" usually does not appear on them. We simply assume that they will happen automatically, yet, the first rule of friendships should be to assign a top priority to them.
If we are to love our neighbor and develop meaningful relationships, we have to take an interest and spend time on them. If we are to be a friend we must care about others, what they think, what they feel, about their successes and failures in life. Friendship is a circle, since it cannot include the good points and not the bad.
Quite often, friendships end because they are inconvenient. We may have good intentions and good impulses for a strong relationship, but it might be too time and energy consuming to invest in them. Most of the time we are willing to do generous things as long as they are convenient for us. But friendships are quite often very inconvenient because it always includes the "giving of oneself".
Some of the most basic aspects of friendship are loyalty, ability to keep personal confidences, openness, ability to give support, a sense of humor, frankness, as well as personal time.
Those people who have some clue that they have not too long to live on this earth, those who are ill, aged, have an insight into the meaning of life. They soon come to the conclusion that life is to be lived to the fullest because each day might well be the last.
The term "bucket list" is now commonly used to indicate that each new day should be filled with some new experience that the days that we have left should be lived to the fullest. Life is then not measured just by its length but by its depth.
To live is not simply to breath; it is to experience, to make use of our senses, to be able to feel. Simply to acquire a lot of things, fame or sensual pleasure is to spend or trade irreplaceable time for that which is worth very little. To soon life is gone. Even as I write this and you read it, a portion of time is gone forever. Life is short. whether we live to 20 or 100, we all lose the same thing, the opportunity to "live for today".
One individual expressed it this way, "If I had a chance to live life over, I would do things quite differently. I would understand at the beginning that much of life is spent in vain pursuits. If I could do it over again, I would hate less, love more, work less overtime and spend more time with family, argue less, listen more, collect fewer debts and make more friends. If God granted me a second chance, I would grow closer to living things - to petunias, to aspen trees, to kittens to my children, Bedtime stories would be more important than news stories, valentines and birthdays more important than payday. I would never go to bed without saying to someone, "I love you" or without experiencing the beauty of a song, poem or painting. And finally each morning as I arose I would repeat these words; "The past is gone and tomorrow may never come so I will live for today".
Pastor Hans Lillejord