Friendship is central to Christianity.
St James, whose Feast we keep today, was a close friend of Jesus. After they first set eyes on one another by Lake Galilee Jesus and James kept close. He's there with Peter and John at key moments in the Gospel like the Lord's Transfiguration and his Agony in Gethsemane Garden. James witnessed his Lord's resurrection. Anointed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost he became the first Apostle to die for Jesus.
Such was their friendship.
I want to take a leaf out of James's book for I too am a friend of Jesus. I want to give time to him, to be with him, to know the power of his resurrection, the anointing of his Spirit, and, if needs be, give everything for him.
I want to bring other friends into friendship with Jesus.
It was different for James. He knew Jesus in the flesh. We know Jesus in the Spirit. He lights our spirits through the words of Scripture. The gift Jesus gave James of his body and blood at the Last Supper is ours day by day at the eucharist. By the Holy Spirit we keep friendship with Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
James wasn't a perfect friend of Jesus and nor am I. He was proud and ambitious for himself and so am I. He was lazy, sleeping when Jesus had asked him to pray, and I'm like that too
Jesus, though, proved faithful Friend to James - as he does to all who look into his Face and gain sight, day by day, of his faithful, radiant goodness.
I'm Canon John Twisleton living in Haywards Heath, West Sussex