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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Ian Emile Dunn

Contentment in the Lord

Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26

This past weekend, we moved past the introduction and into the meat of Ecclesiastes. The preacher turns to satisfaction, where you find joy in this life. This allowed us to ask the question: Are you satisfied in life? And where are you finding contentment and satisfaction?

While these questions don't naturally come to most people, wisdom forces them. This is because we often go about our days without thinking critically about what is happening. The preacher forces us to slow down and reveal what he has learned from his illustrious life, and in doing so, we also learn about human nature.

Before we tackle what the preacher has learned, we must ask why we should even ask these questions. After all, if we can be happy without introspection - isn't that better?

But throughout this lesson, the preacher reminds us of two important realities: 1. life is a vapor, and 2. folly and madness are darkness, while wisdom gives us light to live our lives.

So, we choose wisdom. But next, the preacher shows us what the stuff of this life can cost. He paints a grim picture as he acquires more and more: more houses, more cattle, more gardens and parks, and more women. All of this leads to emptiness.

The preacher then concludes that satisfaction in this life does not and cannot come from this stuff, but it comes from recognizing the gifts that God has given us. These gifts can be as simple as a sandwich and a glass of cold water with a friend, the work you've been given in your short life, or a celebratory banquet.

It's not the stuff; it's the gift that makes these things precious and leads to our deepening satisfaction. If you want to know more, listen to this Sunday's sermon.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Where do you find your satisfaction?

    1. Is it working?

  2. Think of a time that you were satisfied in life. What was happening? What allowed you to be satisfied?

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