God on Film: The Upside of Unlikely Friendships

On this Pentecost Sunday, we continue our series, God on Film, talking about the blessings of unlikely friendships. This has been a common theme in movies and also in the community of faith. Sometimes it’s purely comedic, like when an odd couple meets and tries to get along. Can opposites truly be friends and suffer each other’s personalities and quirks? Of course! So God brings together people who are often dissimilar and offers the possibility of a fruitful if not interesting relationship.

Isn’t that the story of the church at times? We are God’s varied people, from diverse backgrounds, drawn to the presence and love of God that strengthens our faithfulness and our walk with Christ. We take our cue from Jesus who met people from every walk of life and yet entered their world. Jesus models for us the way God works. Just as God entered our world in human form so that God might best be able to meet, know and save us. It always takes some humility to enter another’s world. It takes some courage. There are risks and there is awkwardness We find some things out about people that drive us crazy. We discover the unexpected gifts from someone’s personality and experience that enriches our lives. We are changed by these encounters.

We rarely know all of the pressures and realities that form someone’s life. We rarely know all of the joys and sorrows that are working on someone. In Philippians, Paul writes: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” (2: 5-6). Here Paul sees the humility of Jesus, who came into our world as a servant who also calls us to serve others. It certainly does takes some humility, being willing to learn from another’s perspective, understanding how they experience & interpret the world. It takes some empathy to meet and grasp their pain. In fact, we could say that a large part of the world’s problems stems from our inability to see each other’s lives and enter each other’s world. I like how New Testament scholar Mark Hopper puts it, “If the love of Christ controls us, then we are free to be open and accepting of others on the basis of seeing them through the eyes of Christ, the One who gave himself for everyone. Old standards of judgment such as race, social status, wealth, prestige, and title are obsolete.” Sunday we come to meet the Holy Spirit that moves within us and moves us to meet people who will enlarge our faith. We worship a God who moves us into spiritual friendship with one another so that our faith may be blessed and enriched by the gifts we have to share with one another.

Senior Pastor Dave Summers
pastordave@pvumc.org
Office: 602-840-8360 Ext 131

“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”

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