A highlight of our Israel trip was time spent in Magdala, located on the west coast of the Sea of Galilee. This photo was taken in the Boat Chapel. Behind the boat, which is the altar, is a stunning view of the Sea.
Christmas is a time when the beauty of friendship seems extra special. It’s also a time when the absence of friends is extra painful.
When we were in Israel, particularly in the Galilean region, I was filled with a keen awareness and appreciation of friendship. That awareness and appreciation has continued into this season of thanksgiving and celebration.
While we were in the area around the Sea of Galilee, I thought often about Jesus’ friendships and relationships. My reflection has led me to ask a couple questions.
What kind of friend was Jesus? and
How was Jesus a friend?
When considering these questions, I feel convinced I should also ask myself,
What can I do to be a more Jesus-like friend?
How am I building and maintaining friendships?
Jesus was a friend to:
- those who fell short, stumbled and messed up.
- those he mentored.
- the outcast and marginalized.
- women, which by the way, was huge within that culture.
- the sick.
- the hopeless.
- the scoundrel.
Jesus was a friend who?
- forgave those who disappointed, dismissed and denied him.
- set aside his will and made the ultimate sacrifice for me—for you.
- illustrated the heart of God
- left a lasting impact..
- showed us how to be a friend.
- gives us the privilege of partnering with him each day.
- calls us to develop friendships that are a reflection of his friendship.
I hope during this season of Advent, you will consider with me the friendship of Jesus, the ‘Man of Galilee.’
This painting of Jesus calling two fishermen to become his disciples is in one of the Magdala Center’s four Mosaic Chapels.