Message summary: Let us value and practice these three principles found in our Bible text.
In the course of our chaplain visitation an employee asked me, “Why were the suspenders arrested?” Initially I couldn’t tell what in the world she might mean. I shook my head, “I don’t know. Why?” She looked up with a smile and answered, “For holding up the pants.” Well, that sure brought on a good round of laughter!
Ken is an intern choir director at our church and he has a distinctive that really stands out. He wears bright red suspenders! He is in his mid life but moved down from Maine to get additional music training. He is originally from my home state of Missouri. I (Stephen) especially commend his good taste in gallusses.
An old Mennonite fellow humorously asserts that suspenders are a part of being Biblically dressed based on our daily text. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 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” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10).
Now to be clear I don’t think our daily Bible verse has anything to do with suspenders since all the Bible time pictures I’ve ever seen show people,including men, wearing robes but it has a vitally helpful truth regarding the value of two.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”. In life there are some jobs we do solo but what a blessing to work with someone else. It increases the return on our labor. We can apply this principle to many areas of life including marriage, the family, work and church.
“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” We have all probably experienced the blessing of a hand reached out to help us up when we fall down. But I don’t take this in just a physical sense but in a spiritual/emotional sense as well. I have often been the recipient of a helpful outstretched hand during a time of trouble.
“But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” Indeed this is a sad state. Somehow I picture the old cheesy 80’s commercial for Life Call of the lady who had fallen and cries out “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.
- Value other people in your life. We are better together.
- Be ready to help another who has fallen and to receive the blessing of an outstretched hand when you fall.
- Be especially sensitive to those who have fallen and have no one to help them up.
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” Video
We offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 28).
“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it’s read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here’s an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns” (printable webpage). “A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal. A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.
A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)
A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!