It seems like a fairly unusual way to sum up complex questions about power and meaning and wealth and vanity, but the writer of Ecclesiastes seems to do exactly that at the end of the book. He says, in effect, go home and enjoy your life! Taste the cheese on your pizza. Bask in the afternoon sunshine. Find pleasure in the way the cat snuggles on your lap. We will all die, and we don’t know when, so we’re to hold onto life lightly, to accept its transience and unpredictability, and to enjoy the simple things. ‘There is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.’ (Ecclesiastes 8:15.) ‘Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun’ (Ecclesiastes 9:9). ‘However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all.’ (Ecclesiastes 11:8.) As part of that enjoyment, of course, we are to remember our Creator, to fear him and to keep his commandments . . . ‘For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.’ (Ecclesiastes 12:14.) One day, Jesus will return, and on that day, all the vapor and mist and unknown, perplexing things will be gone forever! It’s a time to hope! Jesus will bring the healing and justice and answers that the world has been longing for, since the earliest of times.
Reflect: How could we change our habits today to reflect this message – to accept life’s transience and enjoy the simple things, knowing that Jesus will ultimately bring healing and justice?
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