There is strength in numbers, especially in the Christian community.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him– a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 English Standard Version
These two chicks had better stay together. Surprising things happen in the jungle.
Chickens play an important role in the village we visited in our recent trip to Peru. They are constantly eating bugs. I imagine that the bug population would quadruple if it weren’t for chickens and ducks.
I was sitting under a large tree on a hot, humid day. The calmness of the moment was broken by the unnamed, un-kept, and unappreciated dogs barking and running at full speed around a bush. A few moments later a rooster was running as fast as it could back around that bush and under a house chased by the yapping dogs. It looked like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
As quickly as the barking began it stopped and to my left a man was carrying the rooster by its legs. Lunch would soon be served.
I’m not saying that being in pairs always protect people from harm and danger, but it’s better than being alone, especially if that person is a trusted sister or brother in Christ. This is a fact acknowledged by the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. “Two are better than one.”
We don’t know the context of the Preacher’s words. Did he considered himself foolish having taken on a difficult task by himself? Had he heard the stories of David and Jonathon and how their standing back-to-back kept David alive?
What we do know is the truth of this statement, “two are better than one” when they stand back-to-back against the struggles of life. One person protects the other, strives with the other, and cares for the other.
Then, out of nowhere, the Preacher adds, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” He acknowledges that even better than two are three people who hang together. God calls us into community, that’s our baptismal gift. We are called into a fellowship of people who know forgiveness and grace and who understand the struggles of life. A threefold cord is interwoven to the point you notice the cords, but their unity is more important.
It is the Holy Spirit who wraps these cords together and binds them into community. That’s God’s buddy system for thriving this side of the grave.
Copyright Douglas P. Brauner