This Sunday we begin a twelve week series studying the book of Ecclesiastes. As we work our way through the book, we will be reminded to focus on the mattering things of life.
I remember years ago when I checked into the drug and alcohol treatment center, the staff at the center took all of my things and began to search through them. They were looking for contraband. As it turns out, most addicts, though we may really want to get well and live sober, have an incredibly difficult time letting go of the substances that have helped us cope and survive. They found everything I had so carefully hidden and told me it was all profitless and pointless for the journey I was on. I still remember the wave of panic that washed over me at the thought of living life for a day without these things.
I love Ecclesiastes because Solomon does the same thing to all of us. I have found that we are all addicts in some way, we cling to stuff, hide stuff and put our hope in stuff to help us cope. Solomon rifles through the suitcase of our lives and proclaims “This is pointless and profitless for the journey you are on. Totally meaningless!”
The book of Ecclesiastes is actually a book about joy. Solomon’s declaration of “meaninglessness” is actually an incredibly meaningful declaration. It is only when we realize the utter futility and meaninglessness of everything “under the sun” that we are able to look at what is beyond the sun, at the one who created the sun, at the one who sent His Son. He alone is able to make our joy complete.
Life is difficult because God is good. Life is frustrating and futile because he is a Faithful Father. He subjected this world to futility (Romans 8:20), so that by His grace we might come to our senses and focus on the mattering things. I look forward to spending the summer with you in Ecclesiastes and fixing our eyes on the mattering things and the Mattering One who changes Everything!