Oddly, Ecclesiastes packs a punch even though it is talking about the listlessness of life. Life is vanity, we are a vapor, there is no point. If this were entirely true, then it is surprising that the author intends for you to keep reading more than one chapter.
There is meaning in life, and it comes through in Ecclesiastes, but much of the book is devoted to talk about what has no real worth.
I think this resonates with many in today’s world who have had the realization that they live a life with no purpose. Some leave jobs and lives behind to forge a new path searching for meaning. Others reject the values of wealth and power that society seeks to lift up hoping to live life according to a better principle or philosophy.
This creates a great opportunity to shine a light on what Christ offers. To those without, he gives direction. In Christ we all have a calling. We have a purpose as we seek to be his disciples, loving God and loving others. Participating in his kingdom work is of great worth and eternal value. The world offers goals like get a bigger house, have more cable channels on your bigger TV, and gain fame. But these are vanity and are nothing in comparison to the revolutionary purpose of living for Jesus.
This week is a big step toward the end of Year in the Bible’s reading plan. We begin Ecclesiastes, which excluding Proverbs and Psalms, is our last Old Testament book. We also begin our final New Testament book, Revelation.
If you look ahead in our plan you’ll see that Ecclesiastes finishes next week, and we don’t then pick up additional chapters from other books. That means we end with weeks with only 20 and 17 chapters total. This is a bit on the light side and I wanted that to be the case so you can really slow down near the end. We can reflect on the whole year as we slow to a stop.
But again I emphasize that we aren’t to stop reading. We are just stopping this reading plan. I hope it is a spring board to continue on.
Another approach to these final weeks, if you’re not as into slow reflection, is to try as hard as you can with the extra time to cram in all those chapters you may have had to skip! There is still time. (But don’t go so fast that you have no idea what you’re reading.)
As we go through Revelation, a very intriguing book, please feel free to send in questions that I’ll do my best to answer. Even though we’re only doing six chapters, there is plenty to go through and we won’t be able to do it all. So if you have a part you want to focus on, let me know.