SERMON TITLE: “Jesus’ Friends”
SERMON TEXT: John 15:5-17
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 15, 2022, at First UMC
On Thursday morning, I drove over to Community United Methodist Church and picked up Rev. Steve Reinhard. We then drove to Salt Lake City, where we met up with 11 other United Methodist clergy colleagues in a restaurant. We had a nice lunch and lots of conversation as we caught up on happenings in our churches and families. One of our group will soon be retiring, one will be moving to a new church in Colorado, and one is becoming the District Superintendent of the Montana West District. So we were also offering congratulations, and wishing our friends well as we sent them on their way.
One of the beauties of the United Methodist connectional system is that good-byes are rarely final. The one who is retiring will be moving to Nevada, but I will see him in June at Annual Conference in Helena and maybe at other some annual conferences in the future. And the two who are moving to Colorado and Montana will still be in our Mountain Sky Conference, so there will be lots of opportunities to interact and do ministry with them in the future. We United Methodist clergy have a special bond with one another. None of us are members of a local church. Our membership is with the conference. So, even though we might move from one church to another and even from one state to another, we stay in relationship with our colleagues over decades of ministry. We love our reunions because we are like sisters and brothers and cousins. Most certainly we are like friends.
Today’s sermon is on the subject of friendship—specifically, on friendship with Jesus. Let’s check out these verses in John 15 and see what it would mean for us to be Jesus’ friends.