Summary: This sermon is an advent sermon that talks of getting to know the Jesus we are preparing for I finished with a clip of derek Redmonds 400 metre fat the 1992 Olympics at Barcelona. You should be able to find it very powerful.

John 15:12-17New International Version (NIV)

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friendsif you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter.

Let me tell you about my friend.

I had a friend once I met him in hospital he was dying – 21 years of age his name was Trevor cool guy had a Holden car and he’d been on a rugby trip to Auckland worked in an accountants practice.

Trevor got cancer and he was dying in an Invercargill hospital and I just decided to go visit him – and his Father and another man were there and I was there about 20 years of age. I hadn’t faced death – not like this – this was death and raw and young – and I didn’t know what to say?

So I said – because I was fumbling and young and I said – “nice day isn’t it?”

I never forgot what don did –Trevor just looked out the window and with a faraway voice he simply said – “Yeah a nice day to die.”

Hopeless I didn’t stay long and I never went to the funeral but my friend said – my friend said – because he had been to the funeral – I can’t exactly remember what he said but here is what he said.

“Funny thing aboutTrevor.” He said. “ Before he died he became a Christian!’

It shocked me – This was Trevor who drank beer at the Lodge on a Friday night –Trevor who was the up and coming executive –Trevor the rugby player –Trevor – Mr Cool of Invercargill – when it was all stripped away – it became him and Jesus and he gave his life to him.

Let me tell you about my friend.

Not Trevor – nor my friend who told me about his conversion – Yes my friend Jesus!

Later I became closer to Jesus and – yes we were – are good friends but I want to tell you that I have sometimes wondered what a friend I have been to him – I know what a friend he has been to me and it is Christmas and – we recycle the message all over and yet somehow look for a freshness that we don’t get by dusting off tinsel and then I realised it is all about friendship, friendship with Jesus and when we talk about preparation for Christmas we are really talking about the renewal of friendships. No not friendships with rellies who travel long distances nor old mates who gloat of stories of yesterday – No we are talking here about the best friend a man could ever have – Jesus!!!

Last week our son’s parents came to stay and we spent some time preparing for them. They have become friends to us as we share our children and Grandchildren in common and we made preparations for their visit. We prepared a special meal – made up the spare bed and did a bit of late Spring cleaning – all the stuff you do to prepare for visitors.

How much more do we need to prepare for the coming of Jesus? This morning I want to suggest three things you can do to freshen up your friendship with Jesus this Christmas.

The first thing I would or should do if I am expecting Jesus to come is to consider who is coming ,,,mmmmm

Christmas means the worship of Christ – what kind of friend would we have that we would worship?

Consider who is coming!!!!! I mean I have had people come to our house sometimes and they have made me groan. About four or five years ago a man was contacting me and it was clear that he meant to come and do great harm to me and our family it was threatening and he was unwelcome.

But when we are preparing for Christmas we are preparing for the coming of our friend Jesus and as it says in Hebrews chapter 12:- Consider him.

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