Ecclesiastes is probably my favorite book in the Old Testament. It’s a book that I love to turn to when life hits its speed bumps. It’s also a book that I have wanted to preach through for a while, but in sermon planning just never felt the time was right… until now.
Yesterday we wrapped our journey through John 13-21. This Sunday (4/30), I plan to start a 12-week (give or take, we’ll see how it shakes out) journey through Ecclesiastes. So, here is some information that might be helpful as we start:
Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon (1:1, 12-18) to his son (12:12). It is a treasure trove of wisdom from an older man as he reflects back on his life. He had done what he wanted and denied himself no pleasure, and his conclusion: Life is meaningless without finding meaning through God. Thus, I have chosen to call this series: Meaningless//Meaningful.
Parts of Ecclesiastes, especially at the start, can be quite depressing. And that is part of the point. It attempts to create in us a crisis of faith when we try to center our happiness on ourselves and whatever gains we have in life. Solomon reminds us that our consumption of the things of this world never satisfy. So, if we’re going to find true satisfaction and a lasting purpose, we have to look to God (and through our New Testament lens–what the Father has given us in Jesus).
When I think of Ecclesiastes and how to summarize it, what comes to mind is this prayer of Augustine from his Confessions:
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.
This week, as we prepare for this series, I would suggest reading through Ecclesiastes and familiarizing yourself with Solomon’s work. At the very least, take time to read chapter one, maybe even more than once.