Sat on their park bench
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
On the high shoes
Of the old friends
The old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city
Sifting through trees
Settle like dust
Friendships that last a lifetime come from the Lord. These are the friends that make up the community of God and the body of Christ.
1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (KJV)
This famous psalm is clearly understood to mean that it is God who builds the family and home. This is understood by the following verses:
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (KJV)
But the crux of the psalm is found in verse 2:
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (KJV)
A man’s house is more than his wife and children. It also includes his friendships. The very core of a simple church is one’s family. That is the community that one has all the time. The expression of Jesus Christ in the local church of the family is truly achieved in the marriage and children.
Just as no man should marry a woman because of natural feelings, but should know that she is the will of God for him, so should all our friendships should arise. God knows the people that will be a good influence upon us and upon whom we will be a good influence as well.
True freedom in Christ is to allow God to build the friendships that He wants us to have. The expansion of the true organic church, is your family and friends. When we read in the book of Acts:
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (KJV)
I believe that these were new friendships created by the Lord in relationships that culminated in salvation. In other words, I don’t believe it means that the saints of Jerusalem went out on evangelism campaigns to win souls.
Instead, God built His house through our own house of friendship. Unless the Lord builds the house, they who labor, labor in vain. Let God bring into your life all those whom He wants to be your friends. That is the heart of the growth of the church.