A Cord of Three Strands – rhyming acrostic

One of the readings at “last Saturday’s wedding” was Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

As well as being especially suitable for a wedding, I like this passage because it reflects my own faith. When God seems improbable, Jesus seems close; when Jesus seems distant, the Spirit encourages me; when the Spirit seems vague, God speaks to me through his Word. At least one always seems real and reassuring. Probably this is anecdotal, but when I occasionally meet someone who has lost their faith, they seem to have had an imbalanced view of the three persons – over-emphasising just one of a strident warrior Godhead, ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’, dramatic spiritual giftings, etc etc….   For me, the Christian faith is a cord of three strands, which together are not easily broken.

A friend makes sure you walk together

Comforts you when you tire
Offers shelter from icy weather
Rescues you from the mire
Defends you from the violent thief.

One person alone reaps little reward –
Fellowship strengthens faith and belief.

There are three strands to a trusty cord –
Holy Spirit, first, gives an encouraging word
Rabonni, Jesus, is its second strand
Eternal God the Father, its third
Each one steadying the pilgrim’s hand,

Setting eternity within our sights.
Three persons always there in our need,
Roped together, we scale the heights
Alone we stumble, together succeed.
Never doubt the strength of Three,
Delivered, shielded by the Trinity
Secured and tethered to eternity.

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