Tonight at many churches much will be made about Jesus’ final night with his disciples. Some will wash feet. Others will take part in the Lord’s Supper. Hopefully everyone will be reminded of the place of friendship at the heart of the moment. From John’s gospel:
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Better thinkers have parsed those verses better than I ever could. And better friends have lived out those verses better than I ever will. But it’s a nice reminder, one significant moment in a moment full of importance, of the figure of friendship in the story of the world and the God who loves it.