Listening Friend

1-23By Dorene Kilburn of Stratford, Ontario, Canada

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. …And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

—Matthew 11:28–30, 28:20

It is indeed a blessing to have a friend who listens when we need to talk. We need friends who forgive us when we say something hurtful, who overlook our shortcomings. Friends want to share both our joys and our sorrows. But sometimes those special friends cannot be with us when we need them most.

We do have a friend who said, “…I am with you always.” That friend is Jesus. Though he is not visible to us, the friendship we develop with him is real. When we are overwhelmed by the day’s tasks or dragged down by doubts and fears, we can talk to him, for he has told us to come to him if we are burdened. He will give us rest. When we feel inadequate, when our self-esteem is damaged by insensitive remarks, we can turn to Jesus, who teaches us to see the worth of all persons.

As we pursue a closer friendship with Jesus, he will encourage us by the power of his Spirit—he will make us new creatures! This new day he beckons, “Follow me.” How much more can we do and be in his service, if we respond to his call.

Prayer for Peace
Ever-present God, we are thankful to have a friend like Jesus who we can share our burdens with. May we come to you often and pour out our hearts to make room for joy. May we then share that joy and the peace of Christ with others.

Spiritual Practice: Chalice Prayer
The chalice prayer is a form of intercession. Create a cup or chalice with your hands in front of your heart. Open your heart to God’s concern for the Earth and human family as you hold them in your chalice. See beauty and suffering as you lift the chalice and release the creation (open hands) to be blessed and healed by God.

Form the chalice again and hold persons who have particular needs—friends, loved ones, even enemies. Lift them and release them for God’s blessing. Place yourself inside the chalice as you confess your deepest needs. Lift and release yourself to God for healing. “Thank you and amen.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will cherish your presence with me.

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