“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts… A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12)
A few years ago, I was challenged to “sum up” New Life Church. Like most organizations, we have a vision statement, a mission statement, and a purpose statement. But I venture to guess that most New Lifers don’t know them. So I pondered the question, “What’s a concise way to communicate who we are, what we’re doing, and where we’re headed?”
Then it hit me: Grow, Go, Together. Short and to the point. Grow (our emphasis on discipleship). Go (our mission of fulfilling the Great Commission). Together (our emphasis on community).
We probably need growth in all three areas, but it’s the last one we’re talking about in this latest sermon series, the together part.
I typically read the Ecclesiastes 4 passage when I conduct weddings. It works for a wedding, but that really wasn’t what Solomon was talking about. He was talking about friendship. And if the “wisest man on earth” saw the value of friendship, so should we.
Solomon relays to us the simple truth that two are better than one. I’ve told the story before of a boy who made extra money by pulling up stumps, chopping them up, and selling them as kindling. One hot day, he worked for hours on a stump. He dug, chopped, and crow-barred, but the root system was too deep. He was exhausted by the time his father came home from work.
His dad said, “I think I see your problem.” “What’s that?” “You’re not using all your strength.” The boy got angry. He described for his father the hours and amount of labor he put into pulling that stump. “No, you’re not using all your strength.” The boy finally cooled down and asked what his father meant. His father’s reply: “You haven’t asked me to help you yet.”
We don’t have to go alone. Solomon’s right. Two ARE better than one, and he gives three simple reasons: friendship brings greater reward for our efforts, friends pick us up when we fall, and friends guarantee victory.
If you’re interested to see how, join us Sunday for my sermon, “The Threefold Cord.”
See you there!