On Wednesday last week, Jemma Allen led a discussion on the importance of friendship, starting with the Greek philosophers, the Renaissance, right up to present thinking, exploring what it is, and what it encapsulates about being human. Very interesting to hear, were the different emphasies that we in the Moot Community have when we consider what friendship is.
Later, Jemma explored what the idea of friendship was in the context of Jesus, and how he reframes it to focus on intimacy, inclusion and empowerment in the context of justice. Rightly Jemma challenged our British language of seeing Jesus as Lord, which through friendships with all sort of people in the gospels, Christ in powerlessness, never Lorded. Jemma pointed out the first time Friend and Christ were used in Matthew 11,19:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!
I have just read through all the times when Jesus says friend in the Gospels, and it is quite moving. I love the idea of the Kin-dom, not about top down hierarchy, but the idea of a bottom-up society of friends.