Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church Arcade, NY
A few years ago paracord bracelets were all the rage. You could buy them essentially anywhere, or, better yet, you could make the bracelets yourself. For most people it was a fashion statement. For others, it was a tool.
Paracord is a handy resource to have in one’s wilderness kit. It is comprised of several light, thin, yet surprisingly strong nylon strands that once wrapped together make one cord. Individually the strands can be used for a variety of purposes from fishing string to binding materials, but their real strength comes when the cord remains intact. Paracord was originally designed to connect parachutes to sky divers; thus the name. How many lives have been at the mercy of a few nylon cords wrapped together in a braided sheath? Yet each time, the cord demonstrates its strength.
It reminds me of a Bible reading from Ecclesiastes that ends, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (4:12). A threefold cord is not just three times as strong as an individual cord, it’s stronger. Cords are not strengthened just because there are multiple strands. Cords are strengthened because the strands are together. There’s strength in numbers.
That Bible verse comes from a passage of Ecclesiastes titled “The Value of a Friend.” It ends with a three-fold cord, but it starts with a simple proclamation: “Two are better than one” (4:9). Two are better than one “…for if they fall, one will lift the other up… if two lie together, they keep warm… and two will withstand one.” Hard to argue with that.
It’s Valentine’s Day this week. A time where folks are taking time to recognize the importance of their relationships and express their gratitude for the people they get to share life with. As you do, I hope that your relationship resembles a paracord. I hope that you find value in your companionship that you would never have alone and strength in your life together.
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.