Sunday, September 8, 2019


It has been said that the World today courtesy Globalization resembles a spider’s web. Well…the unique thing about the spider’s web is that you touch any part of it, the whole web starts vibrating in due course. So it’s hardly surprising that the Friendship day first “pioneered” and heralded by a small South American Country namely Paraguay on 20th July, 1958 would have its ramifications on the whole world what with UN Declaring in due course (on April 27th, 2011) that “World Friendship Day” would be observed on July 30th of every year. In India we celebrate it on every first Sunday of August.
Be that as it may, the immortal song “What a friend, we have in Jesus” was written by a faithful Christian Joseph Scriven long before (in 1856) the first Friendship day was observed globally. He who had experienced Lord’s inimitable friendly embrace (read great comfort- 2 Cor 1:3-4) in the midst of his own personal tragedies let his sentiments from deep within his heart flow copiously out in the form of that memorable song.
Let it be said that it takes a great act of selfless love to win over the heart of a person. Our Lord’s friendship credentials of portraying sacrificial love is best captured in this Scripture portion which reads thus…”For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,…”- Rom 5:10.
Hey, we have heard that heroes’ are born to kill enemies. Indian Scriptures for instance abound with tales of donning of avatars’ by deities specifically for destroying evil men but how’s this for reversal of roles? Here we have the sinless, Holy one of Eternity donning “flesh and blood” specifically for dying for the “eternal spiritual welfare” (read salvation) of His enemies who wouldn’t hesitate to crucify Him! When the import of this sacrifice registers on any sane individual, his natural response would be of seeking friendship with such an individual who would go to any extent for ensuring the former’s welfare. I am no exception either. On October 16th, 1983 as the nuances of the Gospel were being explained to me, I sought and sealed my “Friendship pact” with the ONE who stooped (to what levels!- Phil 2:4-11) to conquer my heart.
There are no secrets hidden between friends. Do you have any pressing problems the details of which cannot be revealed to anyone of this World? Then do as Joseph Scriven, bring it in prayer before your most trustworthy friend…Jesus. Does God hide His plans from His friends? No way!!! “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him” declares the Psalmist. He goes on to add “With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.” (Psalm 25:14 – TLB).
“The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.” Meaning as our Friendship with our Lord grows deeper and deeper more and more treasures of it (secrets) become accessible to us, making us fall in greater love with Revealer of the same (Dan. 2:22)! Oh what a friend, we have in Jesus who besides comforting us at all times keeps also confiding the Heavenly matters with us, even as we grow in Him!!! Hallelujah!!
Yours in His service,
Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad, India