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August 14: Ecclesiastes: Finding Meaning In Life (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; 12:9-14)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.

Adult Education

This Sunday Josh Herring will continue a series called Christians Creating Culture: An Examination of Gospel Identity, True Community, and Cultural Flourishing at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

[1] The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

[2] Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
[3] What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
[4] A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
[5] The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
[6]The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
[7] All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
[8] All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
[9] What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
[10] Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
[11] There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

Sermon Summary

Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom predating the philosophical giants of Aristotle and Plato. Ecclesiastes means preacher and is best read as the testimony of a preacher near death reflecting on the meaning of life in a world wracked with sin. When Adam and Eve’s sinned against God seeking wisdom not theirs, they plunged all of God’s good created order into disorder including our purpose in life which is now rendered meaningless apart from God. This book while recognizing the meaninglessness of life offers a corrective to lead us to find the meaning of life.

Review and Apply

How would you answer life’s biggest questions: Where do I come from? What is the purpose of my life? What happens when I die?

What things in life are you currently pursuing (take time, money and energy) that need to be dropped?

Explain the phrase, "Fear God."

How does God’s sovereign reign over all creation, including your life infuse meaning and purpose into life?

How does your meaning for life differ from the non-Christian?

How does this book provide hope in a world wracked with sin and in despair?

How can you help another person in your group move from the meaningless to the meaningful?