“Thank You for Being a Friend”

John 21: 10-18

7 September 2014

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, pastor

East Rochester & West Walworth: Zion United Methodist Churches

 

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”

 

Prayer.

 

Back in the 1970’s there was a famous sitcom “Golden Girls”

Which opened with a song by Andrew Gold,

And the lyrics went like this:

 

Thank you for being a friend,

traveled down the road and back again

Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant

I'm not ashamed to say,

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off

won't you stand up and take a bow

 

And if you threw a party,

invited everyone you knew

Well you would see

the biggest gift would be from me

And the card attached would say

Thank you for being a friend

 

If it's a car you lack,

I'd surely buy you a Cadillac

Whatever you need any time of the day and night

I'm not ashamed to say,

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow

 

Today we celebrate the joining together of friends;

The members and friends of the East Rochester United Methodist

Open our arms and our hearts

To our newest friends

God has sent our way

The people, families, and partners from Heritage Christian Services.

 

Cleveland, Karena, Ian, April, Erica, Josh, Joe, Joanie, Lida …

Welcome, friends!

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a person a friend.

I asked Peggy Maccio, our dear sister, laid up in RGH for the past four weeks,

what makes a person a friend.

I’ve prayed about friendship.

The Gospel Joe shared has given insight to friendship.

 

1. Friends care for one another.

2. Friends anticipate one another’s needs, and meet those needs, with grace and generosity.

3. Friends stick together, through thick and thin.

4. Friends care for, and feed each other.

5. Friends say we’re sorry when we hurt one another, and try to right the wrong whenever one is committed.

6. Friends grow to love each other, just as God loves us.

7. Friends come to know that God lives where two or more are gathered.

8. As God is eternal, so too, are friends.

 

Andrew Gold’s song ends with the following verses:

 

And when we both get older

With walking canes and hair of gray

Have no fear even though it's hard to hear

I will stand real close and say

Thank you for being a friend

 

And when we die and float away

Into the night, the Milky Way

You'll hear me call as we ascend

I'll say your name, then once again

Thank you for being a friend.

 

Thank you;

Thank you for being a friend.

Amen.