Touché August 4, 2017
Posted on August 4, 2017 by under Touché,


The Wisdom after Wisdom

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

I grew a beard so I could preach from Ecclesiastes.  I spent a week in the wilderness away from cell phones, the news and any other distractions.  It was a good place to reflect on the wisdom after wisdom of the preacher, or the teacher of this book of wisdom.  It is said that Ecclesiastes is the reflection of an old man who has “been around the block a time or two.”  He has pursued wisdom, wealth, pleasure and toil.  He concludes that it is all vanity.  My beard is greyer than I would hope and as I celebrated a birthday that takes me into my sixtieth year, I can join the preacher in reflection on this life.

Our journey through Proverbs gave us a picture of life that works when it is followed in the plan and purpose of creation.  The good life as we are calling it.  But the preacher of Ecclesiastes notes that things fall apart.  As Jesus says: “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.”  When we live our lives believing that through our good works we can control God we find a wave that knocks us over, or are reminded, as Dylan says, “you’ll find out when your reach the top, you’re on the bottom.” (Idiot Wind)

The preacher with a grey beard prepares us for the gospel.  In Jesus Christ, God steps in to do what we cannot do, set right what has gone wrong.  The wisdom of Proverbs invites us to the good, but the wise man of Ecclesiastes warns us that “unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.”  (Psalm 127:1)

So come this Sunday and hear the gospel.  The wisdom that is after wisdom.  It takes the discouragement of the old preacher and fills it with eternal hope.  I am glad that we have the voice of this cynic, because it is a voice that prepares us to hear the good news and :“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

In Him,