Some relationships are surprising. There are many examples of animals that value human company like Christian the lion, raised from a cub by two friends in London and then released into the wild, which then, after living independently for some years, came bounding up to his former owners and started licking their faces (there are plenty of clips on YouTube).
I don’t think I would hang around with a lion bounding up to me to see whether it licked my face! Then there is the friendship between David Beckham and Tom Cruise who with their shared love of motorcycles have formed (and I promise I’m not making this up) the ‘Midnight Boys Bike Club’ (there was a time when it was just Hell’s Angels giving motorcyclists a bad name) But perhaps the most surprising relationship of all is between Boris Johnson, the Old Etonian, Ex Bullingdon Club member, former President of the Oxford Union, Conservative London Mayor and Adam Jones the former paving slab labourer and Welsh Rugby International Prop Forward from Abercraf in the upper Swansea valley.
To some extent the other relationships can be understood but Boris and Adam is one that I didn’t see coming. Apparently, Johnson sought out Jones at a Downing Street event and the two get on (both have wild hair). Johnson has since made good luck calls to Jones before big games for Wales and the Lions and supplied a tribute for the player’s testimonial brochure;
“Adam plays rugby with fire in his belly, steel in his spine and that mad mop of hair on his head,”
In John’s Gospel we read;
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:11-12)
Now of course, here is a relationship that is not merely in another league, it’s in another universe! That we, messed up and broken human beings, can have a meaningful relationship with a God who is all powerful, eternal and devastatingly holy and not just a sort of distant relationship, we become part of his family. To be honest, the Bible is loaded with verses that tell us of God’s great love for us. This relationship is born not on our achievements or attributes but as the next verse in John states ‘born of God’. He is the one with all of the power, whose case against us is totally just and right. Yet he is also the one who has given his own son that we might be forgiven and live in this relationship forever. Unlikely as it sounds, it’s true. We have God’s word on it.