April 25, 2017
“But woe to him who is alone when he falls.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
Have you observed how much Jesus valued community? He taught: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) He also gave a great teaching regarding prayer community: “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.” (Matthew 18:19, The Message)
When Jesus made that observation about being present when two or three gather in His name he was not giving us a consolation for poor attendance at a meeting. Jesus was being descriptive and prescriptive about the reality that His risen presence is among us in a special way when just two or three of us come together in His name.
King Solomon, thought to be the wisest man on earth in his day, also wrote about the value of community. He tells us in Ecclesiastes 4: “two are better than one, for when one falls the other will help him up.” Then, in verse 12: “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” This could mean that when two or three are in community, the presence of God among them forms the threefold cord that cannot be easily broken.
Are you in community? If you are not, follow the teaching of our Lord and the wise counsel of Solomon to seek spiritual community. I’m not telling you to just go to church. I am writing about that special relationship with two or three people where you have accountability and deep sharing of life and faith. If you cannot find one, start one.
It only takes you and one other person.
Dick Woodward, 19 April 2013
September 22, 2012
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him…a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
The wisest man who ever lived wrote that we were not meant to fight our battles alone. We need community. Jesus told us that He is where two or three of us get together in His name (Matthew 18:20). When Jesus said that, He was not consoling us for poor attendance at a prayer meeting. He was giving us a prescription for an intentional dynamic we call a small group.
For nearly the first 300 years of Church history it was illegal to be a Christian. That forced the Church to meet in small house churches. Today we have many large churches. The only way to have meaningful interaction with other believers when you are part of a mega church is to meet in small groups. Here at the close of the Church age all over the world the Church is again meeting in small house churches
Perhaps this is what Solomon meant when he wrote that a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Not only is a cord or a cable of three strands very strong; when cord number one is you, cord number two is another believer, and cord number three is our God – you have the cord that is not quickly broken.
The Old Testament calls this “Hesed.” The New Testament calls this concept of community “fellowship” or “koinonia.” When you are part of that threefold cord you are “wrapped in a bundle of life with the Lord your God.” (I Samuel 25:29 Berkeley)
Have you personally discovered one of the greatest dynamics in the Bible? Or do you believe you don’t need anybody because you can handle anything that comes your way and you can handle it alone?