6th Sunday of Easter 2021: "Friends"

6th Sunday of Easter 2021: "Friends"

May 09, 2021 | Ryan Arnold

Passage: John 15:9-17

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    Sometime during our sophomore year in college, back in 1995, my future mother-in-law Cletis suggested Kathi and I watch a new TV show she just adored.

    It was about a group of six people, all in their 20s, that were really close, and spent a slew of time together. “They’re young, like you,” she shared. “And fun. I think you’d really like it.”

    So we watched, and surprisingly, to me at least, I enjoyed it. Which was a good reminder to my almost 20-year-old self that teenagers don’t know it all. Mothers really do know best!

    The show has a memorable opening with a catchy tune. Even just humming the intro, with no words, might be enough of a clue.

    DE-DE-DE-DUH-DUH-DEH-DE-DE…it’s Friends, of course.

    The series follows Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler, over the course of 10 seasons and 236 episodes, as they learn to live as young adults, through life’s up and downs, supporting each other along the way.

    Each episode, in its own way, mirrors the title of the show’s theme song: I’ll be there for you  by the Rembrandts.

    For the six Friends always are there for each other, in profound and often funny ways.

    In one scene Phoebe’s grandmother dies. When Joey and Chandler hear of it at their favorite coffeeshop, Central Perk, they hold Phoebe’s hand while Rachel rushes over and puts her arm around her. The Friends listen, support, provide empathy for Phobe, helping her cope with the unexpected loss.

    Phoebe shares the last thing her grandmother said to her when they were at the grocery store, “Okay dear, you go get the eggs and I’m gonna get the yogurt and we’ll meet at the checkout counter.” And y’know what? We will meet at the checkout counter,” Phoebe realizes, referring to the afterlife. The four share the insight and quietly agree.

    Friends support each other in tough times, through listening, empathy, care.
    In another episode Ross buys a new couch, and enlists the help of Rachel and Chandler to help move it up a flight of stairs. “Turn, turn, turn,” Ross directs, as the couch squishes Chandler’s head against the rail.

    Pivot! Ross then exclaims, as they try to take another step up. Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! But the couch doesn’t pivot, and gets stuck in the staircase for good. Later needing to be cut in half to be removed.

    So no one told you life was gonna be this way
    Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
    Your love life’s DOA
    It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
    When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
    Or even your year, but
    I’ll be there for you
    (When the rain starts to pour)
    I’ll be there for you
    (Like I’ve been there before)
    I’ll be there for you
    (‘Cause you’re there for me too)

    Love one another, yes. But take it a step further. As you encounter people through the journeys of life, no matter who they may be, try something else.

    Be a friend. Amen.