In a circle of true Friends each man is simply what he is: stands for nothing but himself. No one cares two pence about anyone else’s family, profession, class, income, race, or previous history. Of course you will get to know about most of these in the end. But casually. They will come out bit by bit, to furnish an illustration or an analogy, to serve as pegs for an anecdote; never for their own sake. That is the kingliness of Friendship. We meet like sovereign princes of independent states, abroad, on neutral ground, freed from our contexts. This love (essentially) ignores not only our physical bodies but that whole embodiment which consists of our family, job, past and connections. At home, besides being Peter or Jane, we also bear a general character; husband or wife, brother or sister, chief, colleague, or subordinate. Not among our Friends. It is an affair of disentangled, or stripped, minds. Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities. – The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. – NKJV
Friendship that discounts one another’s race, background, profession and history, that goes an extra mile into accepting another for the person that they are yet not letting them settle for something less when they have the potential to be greater. Friendship that builds up, playing the God-ordained role of a means of grace into one another’s lives, that invests in one another’s transformation into the likeness of Jesus. That is true friendship, God-given. God-directed.
This month Grace Centre turns two. Grace centre is a fellowship of young believers unashamed and pumped up about Jesus, sold out to the Gospel, joining Jesus in the work set out before us. We speak Jesus, we preach Jesus. We love Jesus. We started out not knowing about the next few steps, trusting in a God who says He knows the plans He has for us, plans to keep us not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future. This month we appreciate the goodness of our Lord. We remember the faithfulness of Jesus. We acknowledge the beauty of fellowship and friendship over the past two years.
As I sit back and reminisce, grace Centre has been family to me more than anything. It has been that place where I can look forward to being after a long week. A place am sure I will grow as a person, spiritually, mentally and yes even physically because this place has a bunch of people who apart from Jesus have a deep passion for food. Yes, marques and Kev am not saying you two champion this cause, with Carol easily fighting for that position. It has been and still remains the place where am assured of laughter especially when it’s needed in my life because of the diverse and distinct personalities all of us bring to the table. Am assured Sheila will spot a diva-like comment that only she can think of and Paul will make insane comments. Calvo has to pronounce something in an out of the ordinary way that we will always remind him of. Grace centre has been the place I can look to for edification of the spirit man because our pastor guy Kev never ever disappoints. I would call him cool but we would never hear the end of it. For the music, Pitt the scratch terrorist has made it worth our while. We have had Ann who always spear heads us to say Amen in the middle of Kev’s sermons and can bust a move to those tunes. Grace centre has been the place where I can be real and take off any sort of mask because the atmosphere is where one does not need to clean themselves or their circumstances up in order to belong.
By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.- NKJV
It is not that we are perfect individuals with a perfect kind of communion. We have flaws, each of us, plenty of them. It’s not that it works because we are young, hip and cool. It is, it has always been and it will always be because of Jesus. Jesus is the centre and at the very core of our existence. It is because of Jesus working in us that we belong. Jesus is the one who holds and moulds us. As believers we are not called to be such fickle friends, bailing out when someone seems too demanding, too inconvenient or immature. When we look to Jesus, we find a friend who loves us when we are unlovable, willing to die for us even when we do not deserve it. Jesus portrays the kind of friendships we have been called to and when we look to Him to lead and teach us, we will rest in a grace so sustaining we will find and experience a love unlike what we normally find in our own hearts. Also we do not need the latest model of a building, a lot of money or perfect people to make a body of believers work. We are living proof of that. If we can be bold enough to step out of the boat and heed to the calling God has placed in our hearts nothing can hinder the purposes of God coming into fruition. For it is not these things that sustain a ministry but Jesus Himself.
Through the years we have learnt a lot, grown up as individuals and experienced Jesus in our lives. Turning two is an exciting experience for Grace Centre. And still, greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done.
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