Abiding Love and Friendship
Abiding Love and Friendship

Abiding Love and Friendship

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! 

Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for Sunday, May 5, 2024.

This week, my sermon explores the message of John 15:9-17, where Jesus emphasizes the importance of love and deep connections within Christian community. We reflect on the characteristics of “abiding friendships,” relationships rooted in Christ’s love, marked by permanence, mutual support, and shared values. As we cherish and nurture these connections, we are reminded of the joy found in our caring relationships and the transformative power of God’s love at work in our lives.

Today’s Opening Sentence

If you love me, you will keep my word, and my Father will love you, and we will come to you. – See John 14.23

Today’s Reading – John 15:9-17

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”1

Your Online Message and Prayers

Click on the above image to view our online worship on YouTube.

Reflection questions for the week: 

  • Take a moment to consider the friendships in your life, particularly those within your Christian community. Which relationships reflect the characteristics of “abiding friendship” such as permanence, intimacy, mutual support, shared values, and fruitfulness?
  • Think about the challenges you’ve faced in nurturing deep friendships rooted in Christ’s love. How have these challenges strengthened your faith and commitment to cultivating meaningful connections? What steps can you take to overcome obstacles and deepen your relationships further?
  • Reflect on moments of joy and fulfillment you’ve experienced through your friendships. How have these relationships contributed to your spiritual growth and sense of belonging within the Christian community? In what ways can you continue to spread joy and hope through your interactions with others?
  • Consider Jesus’ call to remain open to deepening abiding connections with one another. Are there individuals in your church community whom you feel called to develop deeper friendships with? What steps can you take to foster these relationships and create a community where God’s abiding love knows no bounds?

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.