No Friends, no Faith
I can’t remember which video but I distinctly remember being hit by a thought from one of these YouTub-evangelists that Jesus didn’t tell any of the disciples to write anything down, and nor did he tell them explicitly to start a church in the formal, official sense. Instead he told them to tell i.e. tell the world about him or to give witness about him i.e. to tell about what THEY HAVE SEEN. Elsewhere in the bible he justifies the trust he has in them by highlighting that “You too are witnesses for you have BEEN WITH me from the beginning”. Again if we look to the beginning of his relationship with the twelve, the fundamental question asked by Jesus: “What do you want?”, was responded to by Andrew and John with: “Where do you STAY”.
The words that jumpy to my mind about all of this circulate around the theme of RELATIONSHIP: BEING WITH, SEEING, EXPERIENCING, ENCOUNTERING, TOGETHERNESS, PROXIMITY, SHARING, CO-HABITATION (the controversial version not withstanding).
As an open ended question to you (indeed these are but ramblings in my cranium): Is it fair to say that Jesus did not create a cohort of 12 followers but rather a group of friends, a fellowship, a crew, a scheme (for all my black/township friends [wink wink]) a little family of brothers and in the extended circles, sisters?
If so, then perhaps something profound is being said about evangelisation as well as the SUSTENANCE of the spiritual life (I reckon it is a fault to believe that one who is with Christ will remain with Christ forever regardless – He who is not fed does die). I can say with certainty that I have faith because of the friends that the faith has given to me and the experiences that I’ve been allowed to share with these friends. Were it not for these, I can positively say that I would have no true faith which is the only faith worth having. There is little more effective a thing we can do in living out chastity than to immerse ourselves more than often, indeed baptise ourselves more constantly in the company of faith-filled friends, even till we are drenched in the spirit of their fellowship.
It is to attain immeasurable wealth to do this and to commit suicide to fail.