Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Ecclesiastes 1:2


Meaningless, meaningless.
All is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 1:2
 
Ecclesiastes is arguably the most depressing book in the Bible.
 
It is a song of Solomon. As the wisest man in history -- remember God granting that wish? (1 Kings 3:5-9) -- Solomon uses this book to reveal what all human pursuits inevitably lead to: Meaninglessness. Wisdom is one of those human pursuits. We do what we think is best -- irregardless of God's guidance.
 
Ecclesiastes is Solomon's sad lament and the end result of all his humanly wisdom. In order to build the Temple, Wise-Solomon bartered and made treaties with all the neighboring kingdoms. To ensure peace, Solomon bound the kingdoms together by often marrying the other kings' daughters. Seven hundred of them!
 
Now, maybe peace treaties were humanly wise, but I'm pretty sure that marrying 700 wives was a little iffy!!!
 
I've always viewed Ecclesiastes as Solomon's viewpoint at the end of his days. Listen to my translation of selected verses in chapter 1. (And I urge you to read it outloud in the most dull, dry, sad, and monotone voice possible.)
 
Meaningless. Meaningless. All is meaningless.
A generation comes, and a generation goes.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down.
The wind blows to the south, to the north, and back again.
All the streams run to the sea, but the sea is never full.
All things are wearisome. More than one can express.
What has been will be. What is done is done.
There is nothing new under the sun.
 
Blah.
 
If we live our lives based on any human foundation, the generations will come and go, and we'll inevitably get to the season when our generation is going. And all that we've built is crumbling, decaying, and passing away. And we'll inevitably be left crying like Solomon crying, "Is there such a thing of which it can be said, 'Behold, this is new'?"
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who finds his hopeful answer
on the last page and a half of the Bible:
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new!"
Revelation 21
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Meaningless, Vanity ... everything we do here on earth is basically meaningless.  Sometimes I wonder 'why bother.'  But then I go and acquire more stuff to clutter my house. Add more stress with endless to do lists. What is really worth it?

Shining the light of Christ in this world is what is really worth it. Being Jesus to others. That is what is meaningful.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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