“You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:14-15

A local radio station had some ‘tips for black Friday’ and they gave some advice on how to get the best deals and effectively weave through the crowds.  My advice?  If you know me you are well aware that my Christmas presents were procured by the end of September.  So my advice, don’t go out.  Stay home and consider the relevance of the other Friday; Good Friday and how that corresponds with the Christ child born in the little town of Bethlehem.  That was the greatest gift in the history of this world.  No gift on Black Friday can touch that gift that came down from Heaven and dwelled among us.  These four from the Lutheran school at Merrotte know nothing about ‘black Friday’ but can tell you about Christmas, Good Friday and Easter and the reason for their HOPE; Jesus.  One dollar will buy their lunch and that is a really great black Friday deal that goes a long way.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus’ that were written by Joseph Scriven in 1865.

“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!  What a privilege to carry
ev'rything to God in prayer!  Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,  All because we do not carry ev'rything to God in prayer!  Have we trials and temptations?  Is there trouble anywhere?  We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.  Can we find a Friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?  Jesus knows our ev'ry weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.  Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?  Precious Savior, still our Refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.  Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?  Take it to the Lord in prayer; in His arms He'll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay