Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Scriptures is part of what is called Wisdom Literature in the Bible. This scripture in one of several that speak to the importance of friendship and how we are dependent on one another for support and help. This past year of physical distancing has made us feel this need for one another even more keenly. We are better together. We are stronger together.
In another wisdom book, Proverbs, there is this piece of wisdom: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
This idea of supporting one another and being stronger together is found repeatedly in the New Testament. Paul’s image of the Body of Christ for the Church, found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, is a good example.
We read the phrase “one another” repeatedly in the pages of the Bible, reminding us of the importance of friendships and the kind of partnerships that work for the common good. There are many instances of this; here are a few:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)
“Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
“Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. (Romans 12:16)
“Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. (Romans 14:13)
“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)
“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)
“For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become servants to one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:12)
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Today is a good day to give thanks to God for your friends, family, and others who support, love, and encourage you. Today is a good day to think about how you can connect better and more often with the ones you love.
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Blest Be the Ties that Binds”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
1 Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
2 Before our Father’s throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.
3 We share our mutual woes,
our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.
4 When we are called to part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.
5 This glorious hope revives
our courage by the way;
while each in expectation lives
and waits to see the day.
6 From sorrow, toil, and pain,
and sin, we shall be free;
and perfect love and friendship reign
through all eternity.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:
A GOOD LIFE
The gifts God offers me do not end with this life.