In the image and likeness of God, human beings are formed to be in a loving relationship with their Creator and with one another. These relationships are not meant to be static, but dynamic, as humans are always searching and seeking. The members of my congregation hear me say this on a regular basis – we were created to be in relationship; none of us can go it alone. In fact, I even talked about it this past Sunday, Trinity Sunday, when I referred God being a relational God, evidenced in the three Personas of the Trinity.
Relationships are important. I am grateful for my relationship with God and my relationships with family and friends. This morning, as I was reading some prayers and poems written by Georgia Harkness, I found a prayer entitled “Ye Are My Friends.” It is a great prayer of thanksgiving for friendship and I echo its words today.
We thank Thee, O God, for Thy great gift of human friendship and for the friends Thou hast given us. Our hearts rejoice in the riches of affection which, though unmerited, are entrusted to us. We would not squander this wealth lightly or hoard it without use, but prove good stewards of so great a treasure. As other lives touch ours, may we take to ourselves what is most precious and give of our best.
Grant us, O God, the understanding heart. Make us sensitive to see the hurt in another’s soul. Give us grace to speak the right word and to know when to be silent. When our friends must pass through the dark places of affliction, may our love be a beacon to point them to Thee. When good fortune visits them, may our rejoicing be without dissimulation and our gladness without envy.
Be with the lonely, and give them friends. When in moments of darkness it seems to us that we have lost our friends, help us to conquer the thought. Stir in us then the impulse of further self-giving.
Thou, O Lord, hast made us for companionship with one another. We bless and praise Thee for this gift. But Thou hast made us also for Thyself! In this we rejoice with a joy that cannot be spoken. Lift us now into Thy presence, that all our earthly friendships may glow with Thy radiance and be filled with Thy beauty. In the name of our Lord Jesus, who called us to be His friends, we pray. Amen.*
Until next time, peace …
*The prayer “Ye Are My Friends” was written by Georgia Harkness and can be found in her book The Glory of God: Poems and Prayers for Devotional Use, New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1943.