A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17.17
The reception after a funeral is so important because that that is where cherished memories are shared and where the legacy of the deceased is secured. Yesterday I heard a story which amazed me, concerning two Royal Engineers at the outset of their careers. They were building the runway at Ashaig in Skye. One of them had just bought his first car, an MG Midget which was his pride and joy. The other fellow unwittingly drove over it in the digger he was operating. The car was a write-off, yet somehow the friendship survived!
Sometimes even the closest friendships are severely tested. And this may be no bad thing. If friendship is to be true then it needs to withstand pressure. Nobody knows the impact of a crisis until it hits but we can do our best to be prepared. A relationship which survives a crisis is proof that the bond is more important - and stronger - than whatever or whomever is threatening it. For anything to grow, cultivation is required: the hard work which pays dividends.
What a friend we have in Jesus, proclaims the hymn. It's true. Jesus has proved his commitment to us and so we can rely on him. What about our commitment to him? And to those around us, to whom we aspire to be friends? We could start by resolving never to allow circumstances to compromise our loyalty to them. Keeping in touch is vital, even if only occasionally, as long as it's regular. Best of all, add them to your daily prayer list...