It is amazing what people will put their bodies through for a friend, says Sheffield minister

This week it was inspiring to see the power of friendship in action when rugby league icon Kevin Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, for his friend and former teammate Rob Burrow, who suffers from MND.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 4:45 pm
Every year Sheffield runners put themselves through the half marathon for good causes, and friends

I know from personal experience, from two of my church members who died from this cruel disease, how devastating it is.

Kevin’s target has been smashed and at the time of writing was just under £2.4 million.

It is amazing what someone will put their body through for their friends. It made me smile when the Toy Story theme tune became the anthem of the run.

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The Reverend Jonathan Haigh

It echoed Rob Burrow’s adopted phrase; “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.

It was a powerful act of selfless sacrifice for a friend.

And there will be so many others who will benefit from Kevin’s incredible achievements which have a strong echo of the Christmas story.

Jesus was born because God loved the world so much and desires a relationship with you and me. To put it simply, God came in the form of Jesus to be a friend to us.

“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.” John 15vs15.

And it is amazing what Jesus was willing to put his body through for us.

Born in a borrowed stable. Pursued by a jealous king. And then in adulthood thrown out of His hometown, while others plotted a way to get rid of Him. Ultimately crucified.

But all the way through his life, he spoke about love, he provided for people’s needs, he accepted the rejected and healed people.

The whole life of Jesus is a display of selfless sacrifice for a friend.

The birth of Christ offers an open invitation for anyone to know God as a friend.

This will be a quite different Christmas, but Jesus knows that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

The Reverend Jonathan Haigh is a minister at Victoria Hall Methodist Church, Sheffield city centre, and Greenhill Methodist Church – see