The Core Sunday Gathering

June 19, 2011

Love Life: Brother from Another Mother

David & Jonathan


-[SLIDE: Love Life] I have exactly 552 Friends.

-Question: How many friends do you have?

        -What’s wrong with this?

        -We have a skewed/watered down idea of Friendship, don’t we?

-[SLIDE: Brother from Another Mother] We’re getting close to the end of this Love Life series

        -Having explored romance, and family, we’re going to take a closer look at friendship

        -Maybe see what God has to say on the topic.

        -And since the topic is “Friends”, I figured I’d show a clip from a very popular 90’s TV show…

                -Can you guess which one? That’s right! Seinfeld.

        -[VIDEO] Show clip from Season 3, “The Boyfriend, part 1” 5:05 – 7:42

                -Question: Do you think Jerry should have just called him?

                -Question: How are your friendships different now than when you were a kid?

                        -Are they actually more mature? Or just “grown-up”?

                -Here’s a question we should each ask ourselves: Am I hiring?

                        -Am I actually open to new people becoming part of my life?

                        -When I meet somebody new, can I imagine getting close to that person?

[ASSIGN SCRIPTURE] 1 Samuel 18:1-4 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

        -How does it say Jonathan loved David? “As Himself”

                -He loved David as Himself. What does this remind you of?  “Love your neighbor as yourself”

                -Jonathan could easily have considered David a usurper; an enemy – his father Saul certainly did.

                -So that he wasn’t a neighbor at all. But what else did Jesus say? “Love your enemy”

                -And even though his life was in danger, David loved Saul, and prayed for him despite his persecution.

                        -There is a Father’s Day message buried in here: both of them considered Saul a father

                                -for Jonathan he was the biological father. For David he was the anointed predecessor

                        -And they went out of their way to honor him, despite his rage.

                        -How much more should we honor our fathers, and our elders, when they’re not trying to kill us?

        -But David and Jonathan both committed to honor their father, and in so doing, love their enemy.        

                -So we hear Jesus’ words ringing loudly throughout the lives of David and Jonathan.

[ASSIGN SCRIPTURE] 1 Samuel 20:12-17 Then Jonathan said to David: "By the LORD, the God of Israel, I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father. But show me unfailing kindness like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family--not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth." So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account." And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

        -This is a re-affirmation of that oath from chapter 18.

                -Jonathan knows David’s family will thrive, and his own family will not. So he asks for mercy.

                -This was the only hope Jonathan had, as he saw his father descending into rage and insanity

                        -Years later, David upheld the hope that was placed in him…

                        -He adopted Jonathan’s handicapped son Mephibosheth after his father’s death

                        -And because he did, Jonathan’s name survived for several generations.

                -Jonathan, in turn, was the only hope David had as he was being targeted by Saul for elimination

                        -Because Jonathan was on his side, helping him to escape, and survive.

                        -This scene occurs just after David realizes he has to leave Jerusalem to save his own life.

[ASSIGN SCRIPTURE] 1 Samuel 20:41-42 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side [of the stone] and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together--but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

        -Does this make you a little uncomfortable? “They kissed each other and wept together.”

        -Some people might like to reassure you that they kissed on the cheek or the forehead, but I can’t do that.

        -It was probably on the lips.

                (It’s only been in the last few centuries that this tradition faded in Eastern Cultures.)

        -Homophobia ruins our idea of David & Jonathan

                -Because heterosexuals get all weirded out by it.

                -Several times throughout the Seinfeld episode, Jerry frets over his “date” with Keith.

                        -And when Keith drops him off at home, Jerry isn’t sure how to say good-bye.

                        -I remember having a Socrates Cafe conversation with a few guys a while ago

                                About how guys are only allowed to do certain things in pairs.

                                Question: What are some activities most pairs of heterosexual men feel comfortable with?

                                (Hunting, Sports, Drinking, BBQ/Grilling, Poker)

                                -What’s so threatening about “dinner”?

                -Last year I had Rob over at my house, and I made dinner for the two of us.

                        -And yeah, it was weird. We had a great time, but I had to get over the weirdness of it. Why?

                        -It’s the same weirdness we have to get over with David & Jonathan

                        -Because honestly, we guys are missing out on a huge chunk of what it means to be the Body.

                                -Just like we’re missing out if we can’t have a non-romantic relationship with a female.

                                -If we aren’t careful, we’ll have nowhere to turn for deep fellowship.

                        -And we might have to re-learn a few things, and not let society tell us what to do (or not do) together

-Friendship is one of the driving motives behind the Front Porch.

        -It’s true that “Friendship Evangelism” is nothing new in the church

                -Where the goal is to make friends with unbelievers so they can trust you, and then trust Christ.

        -But what happens when you decide that they’re not going to change their minds? Dump them?

                -If you can drop a friend because they decide not to be a Christian, was that a real friendship?

-We’ve always wanted the Front Porch to be a place where people can build real friendships.

        -It doesn’t matter what you believe when you walk in, and it’s ok if you never change.

        -AND YET… If you see somebody you love going down a dangerous path, you’re going to tell them.

                -And you might even become annoying from time to time in your efforts to persuade them.

                -But if the friendship is real, it will be strong whether they listen to you or not.

-And if we want real friendship, we have to look at an example of it… hopefully a perfect example.

-Jesus sets that standard in John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this… that he lay his life down for his friends.”

        -Granted… Jesus may have been reluctant to “drink the cup” of suffering

        -But Scripture says that it was out of joy that he went to the cross, ignoring its shame.

                -Because he was eager to give us this gift. Why? Because he considers us his Friends.

                -Did you think about that? He’s not worried about coming on too strong.

                -Although he’s a little worried that you haven’t gotten the hint. “Hey… Jesus loves you.”

                -He is a friend of sinners, so he’s a friend of mine. And yours.

                -Don’t let your definition of Friend be watered down by Facebook or anything else.

                -Jesus doesn’t have 6 billion friends on Facebook

                        -Facebook wouldn’t even allow it. They’ll make Jesus get a fan page

                        -Where you can “like” him, but he can’t like you back.

                -Here’s some news… JESUS LIKES YOU! He’s crazy about you… YOU!

                - He’s not a phantom friend, he is present with you.

                -Because he said “I will be with you, even to the end of the age.”

        -No matter what happens, he is more with us than any person ever could be.

        -He is not only a true friend, he sets the standard and breaks the mold. And we can put all our hope in that.

                -All of it