Today’s (15/09/2015) readings, if you are using a mobile or tablet, are posted here on your right hand margin. (This is a multiple link that will open both passages with the second appearing below the first in one page.) For computer users there are links within the text for today’s readings.
Mr J I Packer, a reforming Anglican theologian based in Canada and a prolific author, calls Ecclesiastes a book that teaches us how to live.
Often as we near the end of this important book we can be confused and a bit depressed after reading all of Ecclesiastes discounting phrases about the author’s life works. Yet a good friend of ours, called Keith, loved this book with a passion as he proceeded rapidly to his early earthly end due to stomach cancer.
If you and I were to assume that we had worked like Mr Packer, we would be aware of all the challenges that have been faced and much writing and publishing and we would be tempted to be proud and self satisfied about all this toil in 89 years.
But Solomon, a very wise and godly King, sees toil, wisdom and pleasure as meaningless! Ecclesiastes 2
In the face of what you ask? In the face of the inescapable truth that we leave it all behind as we go to our death. Yes even we who go on to eternal life must leave it all behind.
If we jump across to Matthew 19:16-29 we find a slightly similar narrative where the rich man stalls at reaching the kingdom of God because of his riches. Even the disciples learn that they can’t reach the kingdom of God on their own. But it is possible with God.
Both Ecclesiastes 2 and Matthew 19:16-29 remind us of the folly of putting our faith in what we have or what we have achieved. Rather our faith needs to be in our Almighty Father with whom all things are possible.
As the world leads us to a consumerism that is a cycle of work, spend and acquire we need to keep reforming ourselves that we live by faith in an Eternal God.
May each on of us remain faithful to our God and seek not to toil for the meaningless things of earth but to seek His will for us and toil at that.
You might jump over to Wikipedia – J I Packer and check out his entry through this link.