By way of background.
1. I never cared for the T.V. sitcom “Friends”. In that series “friendship” was based on clever remarks, put-downs and sarcasm. It was probably (in some ways) true to life, for there is a kind of friendship which is as shallow as the show portrayed. But nothing in “Friends” ever made me laugh even though it was billed as a comedy.
2. I have long been a cautious admirer of the Quakers. They have an apparently egalitarian ethos, which is very attractive. Mostly I like their formal name “The Society of Friends”. Within the Christian tradition that is an important corrective to the religious hierarchies (such as in my beloved Episcopal Church) which are based in power and authority, rather than in service.
3. The Gospel according to John (Chapter 15 verse 15) has Jesus telling his disciples that they are not his slaves, but that they are his friends.
With this in mind I will conclude my series on friendship tomorrow.