|William H. Johnson’s “Three Friends”|
Don’t take my word for it. Let Jesus himself tell you. As the hour of his crucifixion approaches, Jesus tells his disciples, “ I do not call you servants any longer…; but I have called you friends.” (John 15:15)
And so, when we talk about our identity as followers of Jesus, we should begin by saying that we are the ones that Jesus has chosen to befriend. This is true for us both as community of followers and as individual followers of Jesus.
We are so accustomed to looking for our personal identity deep within ourselves that I had better risk being a little repetitive on this point. Who we are as individuals and as Church is not a function of traits deep within the hidden chambers of our souls. Our true self as community and as individual derives from the relationships to which we surrender ourselves.
|Henri Martin’s “The Lovers”|
This isn’t to say that I don’t have thoughts and desires that I would have to take pains to share (or hide). And I readily admit that each of us has gifts and experiences that differentiate us one from the other. Nevertheless, I still say that relationships make us who we are.