Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Stronger Together. What does that mean? In this silo’ed world where so often it is “all about me” and where many (most?) of us try to stand apart, how do we interpret this?
In the early church not long after the Ascension, Acts (1:14 NASB) records: These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Jesus gathered the disciples together and told them not leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them. And the Holy Spirit did come as Jesus promised opened their hearts and their minds and they fellowshipped together as they shared the love of Jesus and how He cleansed the people from their sins. They were Stronger Together.
Wise Solomon experientially knew that one man alone could not stand against those who would try to take them down. He offered that two are much stronger – one can lift the other up, keep him warm, minister to his needs. But add the third strand – and I choose to believe in Solomon’s proverb that this third strand is none other than God – and the cord is not easily broken. God, if you will, binds the cord in such as way that unraveling it is extremely difficult. Stronger Together.
As we kick off the new church year, and choir and orchestra ramp back up, I challenge each of us to look for ways to lift each other up. Worship is not about the anthem or who is playing what instrument this week or if the call to be a soloist does not come. Worship is about Jesus. About honoring Him. About standing in the gap for His people. About telling our story about our relationship with Him to others and inviting others to come in with us to worship. Stronger Together. It is about new opportunities for worship, about vocalists and instrumentalists working together as a unit, about nurturing and mentoring students who will join us for the first time in the orchestra as a new part of our ministry and all of us reaching out to them, adopting them, loving on them, telling them the Story of Jesus. Stronger Together. It is about praying for our church staff, church leadership, and for the man God has identified to be our next Senior Pastor. Stronger Together.
As hard headed and independent as I am, I realize that I am no good alone. I am grateful for my friends and family who stand along side as my encouragers and prayer partners. And most of all, I am eternally grateful that the third strand anchors me – I have no doubt about that. Jesus lives in me because I answered that question long ago when I invited Him in and asked Him to forgive my sins and make me whole. Have you done that? If not, let’s talk about it soon.
Stronger Together and Still Choosing Joy!