Is god my only friend

Evangelical parish Kenzingen

Sermon on March 26th, 2017 by Andreas Hansen on 2 Corinthians 1,3 + 4

“Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations, so that we can also comfort those in all tribulations with the comfort with which we ourselves comforted are of God. "

Roberto is nine years old and writes: “You have to have a friend like mine. I already knew him in kindergarten. He is also nine years old and is always freezing. He's wearing two long-sleeved sweaters, but he's very strong. He was the first to play with me in kindergarten. He has long black hair and is very tall. He will always be my friend. "
Such a very best friend or a dearest friend is something wonderful. Were you or are you so proud and happy to have a friend like Roberto?
“You have to have a friend like mine.” And “He will always be my friend.” Friends are so important not only for children. It's just good when there are people who like me, who like to be with me and have time for me, play and laugh with me, maybe cry with me and stick to me, understand and know me.
Friends are not a matter of course, like relatives who belong to you. Friends have to find each other. They have to be friends - it doesn't have to be as solemn as Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, but somehow friendship needs a beginning. One or the other has to have the courage to approach the other, show his or her interest, his or her sympathy - and then the other has to get involved too.
It's already quite difficult in elementary school: "Do you like to play with me?" I have sports, music school, another date. I do not feel like."
Friends are special, and not everyone is lucky enough to make friends. The older we get, the harder it is for most to make new friends, or the more careful we are with the word friend.
“You have to have a friend like mine.” We old people can no longer muster up the enthusiasm of little Roberto. We probably just lost sight of a lot of friends. We ourselves and our interests have changed. We didn't have time. Or we moved away.
Some also had to experience that supposedly good friends disappointed and angered us, that envy, dishonesty and ruthlessness divided us. It's bad when the one I trust hurts me. And it is also bad when I have hurt the other myself and destroyed friendship. So we become more suspicious and dare to friendship much less: “Does it really suit me? Can i trust that Do I want to get involved? Am I good enough for him or her? ”Some people think: You hardly ever find real friends anyway. So you prefer to stay to yourself and not be disappointed. It seems to me: This attitude is increasing. We live more and more isolated. I think it's a shame when people think and talk in such a way that they no longer want friends, no matter how old they are.
I think little Roberto is right with his enthusiasm and dedication. “You have to have a friend like mine.” Of course we can't conjure up a friend. But it is so important to find people who are close to us, who we are enthusiastic about and whom we trust.

For us Christians, an attitude of distrust, resignation and self-sufficiency is forbidden.
Why?
Because community and openness to others is a basic feature of our faith. We are called to friendship. We need the others. We have the gift of being friend and friend to each other.

Paul writes at the beginning of his letter: “Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy and God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our tribulations, so that we can also comfort those in all tribulations with him Consolation with which we ourselves are comforted by God. "
Paul writes to his friends. He lived with them, but has moved away for a while now. He has problems with these friends, arguments, gossip, nasty attacks against himself. But he is attached to them and still feels close to them - there are. So right at the beginning of his letter Paul writes about tribulation, a word for which we can say stress, hurt, anger and fear, which literally means tightness, one's heart becomes tight, a burden weighs one down. His friends will understand what Paul means. And now Paul needs consolation. He needs his friends.

What is special about this beginning of the letter: Paul calls God the "God of consolation".
The God of consolation, that is God, our friend. The God of comfort is the best friend.
“What is your only consolation in life and in death?” The Heidelberg Catechism begins with this question. The answer: God is my friend. He came to me through Jesus and gave me his word. I belong to Jesus Christ. He never leaves me alone.
The God of consolation goes further than all friends. The cross is the sign that he goes through everything with and for me, even to death. He comforts in all Tribulation.
Now, of course, God is very different from us. Incomparably different. Often we don't understand God. Then he's a stranger. But he wants to be with us. He comes close to us in Jesus.
Friends are like a window to heaven.
God puts the heavenly gift within us that we can be friends. And through the experience of friendship we sense something of heaven and we recognize him, the God of consolation.

We are gifted with friendship. God gives us his friendship. Now we can be friends with others. We are gifted with friendship because we have the very best of friends ourselves. We can and should dare friendship, especially at a time when people are isolated. We can and should comfort with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
The Christian community is characterized by how it approaches and deals with those who are in all kinds of tribulations, with people who are looking for consolation and help.
A society that asserts Christian values ​​is characterized by how it helps the weak.
The God of consolation is man's friend. Right across the Old and New Testaments, God offers man his friendship. He trusts us and wants nothing more than our trust.
Little Roberto says: “You have to have a friend like mine. He will always be my friend. ”He is right. Amen