Today's reading has been used in countless wedding sermons over the years. Usually the preacher will tell the couple that two of the strands of a rope represent their lives and when they choose to add God into their marriage, the 3 stranded cord is not easily broken.
"Again, if two people sleep together, they keep each other warm; but how can one person be warm by himself? Moreover, an attacker may defeat someone who is alone, but two can resist him; and a three-stranded cord is not easily broken." - Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
While this is true, we can broaden this analogy to represent all aspects of society and relationships. In the context of Solomon's reflections, we know that he values having companionship and people around him. The picture from today also includes the imagery of a journey - the person who is travelling on a road (journey of life) is easy prey if someone wants to attack them. However, if you travel with someone else, you are less likely to be overpowered. And then of course, if you travel with 3 people, you are safer than with just two.
The phrase "a three-stranded cord is not easily broken" seems to be added onto the end of verse 12, which could mean that it was a local saying of the times. Almost like we may add: "Unity is strength" or "Strength in numbers" - it is a saying that people understand and it adds meaning to the context of the lesson.
What can you take away from today's readings?
Is God the 3rd strand in your friendships and relationships?
Living in Grace