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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
June 15, 2001

Jesus wept. -John 11:35

This is the shortest verse in the Bible. I learned that in my childhood, but the verse did not have much meaning to me then. In later years it has come to mean a great deal to me.

Recently this verse has again resounded in my head. Last week, one of my sisters died under tragic circumstances, which is why you did not get a message last week. So it's been a very difficult and sad time for her family and friends, including me. She was a sweet, loving, nurturing person who spent much of her life helping others.

I have come to believe that this verse has meaning far beyond the story of Lazarus' death in which it occurs. We are not alone in our grief. Jesus is grieving with us. Jesus is our most faithful friend, yearning to gather us in His arms and comfort us.

In the Christian faith, as I understand it, God is not a distant force. The Incarnation is not an abstract doctrine, but the fact that God chose to manifest Himself in human form because He loves us so much and wants a close, intimate relationship with us. We are each invited into such a relationship.

In the difficult times of life, dear friends, know that you do not need to suffer and struggle alone. Reach out to your dear, divine companion, who loves you and yearns to comfort, encourage and strengthen you. Praise the Lord!

Bill Samuel

©2001 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 11:58:04 EST