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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Ian Emile Dunn

Is it all a vapor?



This weekend, we started by looking at Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, which introduces some important themes, particularly the attitude of what it looks like when we live as people "under the sun" versus "under heaven."


The preacher's voice can, at times, be jarring. He starts by informing us that everything is vanity. Life is a vapor, especially when we try to live as "under the sun" people. However, we see that the words of the preacher also act as a mirror to our reality if we live as "under heaven" people, and it turns everything upside down:


The brevity of life, though hard, is a reminder of what St. Paul says: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain… My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better (Phil 1:21,23).

Our toil is a joy because it is for the glory of God.

We may be forgotten in a generation or two on earth, but we are always remembered because our names are written in the Book of Life.

The harried cycle of nature becomes a beautiful reminder of God's created order.

Finally, when Christ is our source of satisfaction, we are also satisfied with what we are given, and the need for new and novel things no longer holds us captive.


If you missed this past Sunday or you would like to listen to the complete sermon again, it is always available on our website:



I want to pass along to you a couple of resources as we make our way through Ecclesiastes:


Many of us will gather tomorrow at Marks' Beer Garden to start reading David Gibson's Living Life Backwards. This will give us the opportunity to have a casual conversation about the different aspects of Ecclesiastes' message. If you are not able to join us, I'd still recommend Living Life Backwards as an encouraging resource.



If you want to go a little deeper, one of the more approachable commentaries I'm using for this Series is Derek Kidnery's The Message of Ecclesiastes. This is a pastoral and gospel-centered book to the sometimes confusing message of Ecclesiastes:



Finally, someone shared with me the albums of Streetlight, these are spoken word readings of scripture. I'm making my way through the Ecclesiastes album right now. If you are interested, you can listen on:



I hope these resources will encourage you and help you dig deeper into this series. As we continue through Ecclesiastes, I will share more resources with you.


Reflection questions:


1. When you feel tired and overwhelmed, make note of what you're thinking about, is it "under the sun" thinking or "under heaven" thinking?

2. Does reminding yourself to adopt "under heaven" thinking change anything for you?

3. What gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction?

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