Our new May sermon series of ‘Life Lessons from…’ focuses first on the book of Ecclesiastes.  It’s not the most uplifting of books, since it goes on and on about how everything is meaningless.  But if you dig in a little deeper, you discover that there is a very profound reason for this book.  Ecclesiastes is meant to act like a goad (Eccl. 12:11), or cattle prod – a device used to encourage reluctant cattle to move.  And the message within Ecclesiastes is much like this.  The key to understanding it is to look at the Hebrew word for ‘meaningless.’  It means ‘vapor.’  What the writer of the book is telling us is that everything that we consider meaningFUL (money, success, power, material accumulation, pursuit of worldly things, etc.) are all really vapor – here one moment, and gone the next.  Meaningless.  It isn’t that life itself is meaningless.  Life, the author says, is meant to be experienced.  Life is short, so we should live each day to the best of our ability – in other words, eat drink and be merry, because our lives are in God’s hands, and each today is a precious gift.  Living in a state of constant communion with God is what brings meaning TO our lives.

Based on the book of Ecclesiastes, especially verses 1:1-2, 12-14; 8:14-15;9:11; and 12:11-14.