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The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel is senior pastor of First Congregational UCC in Dubuque, IA. She is a speaker and author of several books including "'Spiritual But Not Religious' Is Not Enough."

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Lillian Daniel: The Importance of Being with Friends

March 01, 2013

Luke 14:16-18

Jesus followed up. "Yes. For there was once a man who threw a great dinner party and invited many. When it was time for dinner, he sent out his servant to the invited guests, saying, 'Come on in; the food's on the table.' Then they all began to beg off, one after another making excuses."

Lillian Daniel

There was a story a while back about a guy on Facebook who had about 900 friends, and he invited them all to a party. You know the punch line: not one of them showed up.

It was an experiment to see whether Facebook friends really deserve the title of friend. People were struck at the irony that someone with hundreds of online contacts couldn't get one person to hang out with him.

Is our culture so disconnected that we are in constant touch electronically, but just too busy to see one another in person? Is this a modern problem? Or is it perhaps a problem of human nature that has been around forever?

From the story Jesus told, it seems that we are not the first generation to call each other "friends" but not have time for one another.

And we are not the first generation to call Jesus "friend," but not make time for him as well.

If you need a little inspiration, listen to Ella Fitzgerald make the case, singing What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. Amen.

Taken with permission from the UCC's StillSpeaking Devotional. Visit

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