Ecclesiological Etchings: 11-30-13

Advent 2013

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what can the one do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.  Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.  The wise have eyes in their head, but fools walk in darkness. Yet I perceived that the same fate befalls all of them.  Then I said to myself, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also; why then have I been so very wise?” And I said to myself that this also is vanity.  For there is no enduring remembrance of the wise or of fools, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How can the wise die just like fools?  So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Thought for the Day: To be honest, I read some of the words from Ecclesiastes, and they deflate my spirit.  For a lot of folks, the book of Ecclesiastes is a book of despair and distress.  In times of grief and anguish, many people have turned to these words – not for comfort – but as an understanding voice in the darkness of despondency.  Even for people of strong faith, life and all its difficulties can leave them with feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

As we approach the Advent and the Christmas Season, there are countless people who are resinating with the words of Ecclesiastes.  Joy and glad tidings are nowhere to be found, and the conflict between cultural expectations and personal emotions often drive people deeper into their feelings of loneliness and anguish.

If this is you or someone you know, I want to encourage you (or invite the person you know) to be at Cypress Creek Christian Church this Sunday (3pm) for the Service of Hope and Remembrance.  I’m not suggesting it will be a cure-all, but this service is a specific time in which people can come together as they are.  No feelings are unacceptable or beyond God’s loving care.  After the service, individual times of prayer will be offered.  I am reminded that it was Jesus who said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Prayer: Merciful and Kind God, I know you love me for who I am today.  I might be in the best of moods or utterly miserable, but whatever the case, you invite me to come into your presence where I shall find the warmth of your tenderness.  Thank you!  Amen.

Hope and Remembrance

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